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Art is an essential part of a liberal education.  There are a variety of music and art courses to choose from in every grade.  Additional classes may be offered based upon student interest and teacher availability.  Art is required in 6th and 8th grade.  Students are required to take two additional semesters of fine arts between 9th and 12th grade.

Visual Arts

The visual arts department begins at the middle school level with an overview of the building blocks of art and design.  It introduces the students to a variety of two-and-three-dimensional art media, artists, and techniques.  Students will study art in historical contexts to learn more about the impact and role visual arts has played in human achievement.  They will learn how art and culture are intertwined, to help them better understand the visual world in which we live.  Students will form connections, think creatively, and problem solve while learning new art skills and practicing art techniques.

At the high school level the Art Department offers a variety of focused elective classes.  Through these classes students will continue to appreciate multiple artistic styles and to practice solutions to visual problems.  They will expand and refine their art skills and knowledge, and they will continue to transform, synthesize, and appraise their own work and the work of their fellow students.

Required Courses

Art and Creativity: 6th
Art has a language all its own.  In this class students will be introduced to the elements of design, which are the building blocks of art.  They will learn about these art elements while creating a variety of projects by studying multiple artists and by experimenting with different art media and art styles. Students will learn how to brainstorm to gather ideas and will begin to understand how to use art vocabulary to talk about and make judgments about their own and others’ artwork.
Art Basics: 8th
Students will continue to explore their own creativity and hone their art skills using multiple art materials. By studying famous artists and artwork, students will explore and create with a variety of media and techniques.  Students will continue to develop their artistic sense and craftsmanship skills while learning how to communicate ideas visually.


Elective Courses

Art and Technology: Middle School
In this class students will be using both traditional art materials and digital art mediums.  The focus may include Photoshop and digital imaging techniques, creating videos with green screen and stop motion elements, and visual presentation applications.  Students will gain experience with a mix of old and new art media and materials.
Drawing: 9th-12th
Students will learn the basics of observational drawing.  They will begin to understand and practice how to transfer what they see in the three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional surface.  They will learn to draw what they see not what they “think” they see.  Light and value are important to this process.  The work of famous artists will be analyzed and studied to help students understand techniques and develop their drawing and painting skills. They will explore different mediums (pencil, charcoal, pastel, ink) and different techniques (hatching, stippling, gesture) to create original works of art.
FeeThere is a $10.00 lab fee for this course.
Painting: 9th-12th
This course will focus on color theory and composition.  Students will learn the various techniques associated with watercolor and acrylic painting as well as mixed media art.  The work of famous artists will be studied and analyzed to help students learn from the masters.  Here they will be inspired to hone their skills and develop their own style and voice.
Prerequisites:  There is a prerequisite of Drawing or teacher approval for this course.
FeeThere is a $20.00 lab fee for this course.
Digital Photography and Visual Communication I: 9th-12th
This course will begin to teach students how to create effective visual images with print, computer, and video.  Students will learn the basics of good design and put it into practice in a variety of ways.  We will look at advertising, movies, graphic design, and photography to understand how information can be best communicated to an audience.  They will use Photoshop to learn basic digital imaging while also learning to enhance some of their photographic work.
FeeThere is a $10.00 lab fee for this course.
Digital Photography and Visual Communication II: 9th-12th
This course is a continuation of Digital Photography and Visual Communication I. Students will continue to work with digital and design media, expanding on previously learned skills.
Prerequisites:  There is a prerequisite Digital Photography and Communication I or instructor approval for this course.
FeeThere is a $20.00 lab fee for this course.
Sculpture and Craft: 9th-12th
Students will get the opportunity to explore three-dimensional media such as clay, paper mache, cardboard, wood, fiber, and found objects.  This class will give students an introduction to the history of craft and functional art.  Projects could include hand-built and wheel thrown pottery, weaving, paper mache, jewelry, furniture, and whatever other everyday, thrown away or functional pieces we can find to beautify.
FeeThere is a lab fee of $20.00 for this course.
Ceramics: 9th-12th
This class will focus entirely on ceramics (clay).  Students will learn advanced hand-building, wheel- throwing, sculpture, and decorating techniques.  They will also learn about the history of ceramics and clay sculpture of different art styles and from various cultures.
Prerequisites:  There is a prerequisite of Sculpture and Craft or instructor approval for this course.
FeeThere is a $15.00 lab fee for this course.
AP Studio Art: 10th-12th
The course promotes a sustained investigation of all three aspects of portfolio development… quality, concentration, and breadth… The course enables students to develop a body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea in drawing, 2-D design, or 3-D design that grows out of a coherent plan of action or investigation (i.e., a “concentration”). The course enables students to develop mastery (i.e., “quality”) in concept, and composition, and teaches students a variety of concepts and approaches in drawing, 2-D design, or 3-D design so that students are able to demonstrate a range of abilities and versatility with technique, problem solving, and ideation (i.e., “breadth”). Such conceptual variety can be demonstrated through either the use of one or the use of several media. The course emphasizes art making as an ongoing process that involves the student in informed and critical decision making. The course includes group and individual student critiques and instructional conversations with the teacher, enabling students to learn to analyze and discuss their own artworks and those of their peers. The course teaches students to understand artistic integrity as well as what constitutes plagiarism. If students produce work that makes use of photographs, published images, and/or other artists’ works, the course teaches them how to develop their own work so that it moves beyond duplication.
Prerequisites: 1 year of High School Art, B+ or better in the class correlating to which AP portfolio you want to take and summer homework art pieces.
Fee:  There is a $25.00 lab fee for this course.

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