Arts > Visual Arts
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Visual Arts

Visual arts encompass anatomy and figure drawing, clay and sculpture, fashion design, film and videography, oil painting, photography and printmaking.



The extensive curricular visual art offerings described below are supplemented with evening figure drawing courses, the Art Club, the Photo Club, and the Intaglio (printmaking) Society. All visual art courses will require the purchase of a small amount of materials. Those that require more extensive purchases – which can be in excess of $100 – are indicated in the descriptions below. The Academy has limited financial aid available for these supplies purchases.

Visual Arts

The extensive visual art courses described below are supplemented with extracurricular activities such as the Art Club, Intaglio Society, and Fashion Club. Many visual art courses will require the purchase of materials. The fees will vary and those that require more extensive purchases can exceed $100.00. The Academy strives to provide all students the opportunity to experience the arts and has limited financial aid available.

Foundations of Drawing and Painting (Standard)

1 Credit (8851)
Prerequisite: None

Drawing utilizes simple material to explore both our visual perception, and the structural relationships of the world. It is a fundamental tool for effective visual communication. Drawing builds a repertoire of problem-solving strategies that can be utilized in all aspects of life and learning. Students may also explore basic painting mediums such as ink wash, watercolor or acrylic. This course introduces a foundation of technical and language skills, upon which further visual art studies will build. Weekly homework assignments are designed to reinforce the principles learned in class. Students should expect to pay a small materials fee.

Anatomy and Figure Drawing I (Standard)

1 Credit (8883)
Prerequisites: Foundations of Drawing and Painting

Knowledge of the structure, balance, and movement of the human figure is an essential skill in many fields of visual art, such as fashion design and animation, and an excellent training in observation and visual problem-solving for any artist. This course builds on observational drawing skills introduced and practiced in Foundations of Drawing and Painting.

Anatomy and Figure Drawing II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8885)
Prerequisites: Anatomy and Figure Drawing I

This course will build upon the basics of human anatomy introduced and practiced in Anatomy and Figure Drawing I. Students will explore more deeply the bone and muscular structures, and use these ideas in the creation of large drawing compositions.

Water-Based Painting I (Standard)

1 Credit (8852)
Prerequisite: Foundations of Drawing and Painting

Students will learn various techniques and effects using water-based paints. They will explore watercolor, gouache, and tempera. Watercolor is transparent and allows light to reflect from the surface of the paper. Gouache is a type of paint consisting of a pigment suspended in water which is more opaque than watercolor and provides greater lightreflection. The course will finish with a study in tempera which is a permanent and fast drying painting medium using a pigment mixed with a binder (such as egg yolk). Its use dates back to the 1st century A.D. and was an easel painting method used until oil painting was invented in 1500 A.D. The course will cover design, composition, value and color in landscape, still life, and portrait painting.

Water-Based Painting II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8853)
Prerequisite: Water-Based Painting I

This class is a continuation of the skills and principles introduced in Water-Based Painting I, with added emphasis on individual painting technique and expression. Students will have the opportunity to explore a medium of their choice, polish their skills in painting, and create pigments, binders, and painting substrates. Demonstrations of waterbased mediums will be balanced with lectures and individual projects.

Printmaking I (Standard)

1 Credit (8856)
Prerequisite: Foundations of Drawing and Painting or by department recommendation

This course is an introduction to fine art printmaking and an exploration of creative process through intaglio and relief printing. Students will create original compositions from life, develop and revise the images on copper plates and wood blocks, then print the images by hand or on an etching press. Presentation of prints for group critique and public exhibition are an important part of this course. Students will maintain a body of working proofs and artist proofs that will add breadth and depth to their art portfolios. Students registered in this class are eligible to join Intaglio Society, and may apply for our annual workshop in Florence, Italy

Printmaking II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8857)
Prerequisites: Printmaking I and by department recommendation

This course is an intermediate level fine art intaglio printmaking experience. The full range of intaglio techniques will be explored including hard and soft ground etching, aquatint, and open and spit bite, as well as all the major engraving techniques. Students will explore creative process as they deepen their knowledge and comfort level with revising images from proof to proof in pursuit of personal voice, and continue to build their art portfolios. As in printmaking I, group critique and the presentation of public exhibitions are an important part of this course. Participation in all of the Intaglio Society’s opportunities is encouraged.

Clay I (Standard)

1 Credit (8867)
Prerequisite: None

Students will be exposed to a
wide variety of hand-building
techniques and extensive work on
the potter’s wheel with a strong
emphasis on both design and
functionality. Students will learn
to make serving bowls, pouring
vessels, serving trays, coffee mugs
and tumblers, lidded forms, and a
variety of other pieces using hump
and slump molds, coil building,
slab construction and, of course,
the wheel. Students will also learn
decorative carving techniques
as well as the use of decorative
stamps and sprigs.
Additionally, a wide variety of
glazing processes will be covered
including the use of slips,
underglazes, engobes, overglazes,
sigillattas, and traditional
glazes. Students will receive initial
instruction on the loading, firing,
and unloading of their work.

Clay II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8868)
Prerequisite: Clay I (Standard)

Clay has been used as a medium for both utilitarian purposes and artistic expression for thousands of years, crossing all cultures, lands, and people groups. From the most primitive pitfired pot to the most sophisticated computer-controlled kiln-fired art work, clay remains a medium of infinite fascination. This course focuses on expanding student understanding of historical, technical, and conceptual processes associated with working in clay. Students will refine their throwing skills and learn how to create complex forms such as pouring vessels, lidded vessels, and myriad other utilitarian forms. Hand-building processes will also be thoroughly examined and students will be free to choose which method(s) they prefer to pursue. Additional emphasis will be placed on surface embellishment, decorative carving, glaze experimentation, and loading, firing, and unloading kilns. Individual aesthetic expression will be highly encouraged.

Sculpture I (Standard)

1 Credit (8861)
Prerequisites: Foundations of Drawing and Painting (Standard)

Students will explore the creation of three-dimensional images. The course begins with simple bas-relief sculpture and proceeds to advanced sculptural forms. Students will also explore the casting process by developing reproductions of original pieces.

Sculpture II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8862)
Prerequisite: Sculpture I and by department recommendation

Students will explore advanced sculpture work such as complex forms and the human form, drawing from the foundational skills acquired in Sculpture I. Students will also be introduced to new mediums such as stone and wood.

Fashion Design I (Standard)

1 Credit (8863)
Prerequisite: Foundations of Drawing and Painting or by department recommendation; materials fee

Students will learn the basics of design and color, in addition to keeping abreast of trends in the fashion industry, and develop their figure drawing skills while creating illustrations. Through draping techniques, students will learn how to create a pattern. They will learn the basics of sewing and jewelry design, beading, and textile printmaking.

Fashion Design II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8864)
Prerequisite: Foundations of Drawing and Painting, Fashion Design I, and department recommendation; materials fee

As a continuation of Fashion Design I, students will create a garment from design concept to completion and learn to fit a mannequin/model with the highlight being a professional fashion show.

Oil Painting I (Standard)

1 Credit (8893)
Prerequisites: Foundations of Drawing and Painting

Using the medium of oil paint, students will build upon their observational drawing skills to create compositions exploring luminosity, color, transparency, and opacity; as well as form, atmosphere, and other concepts introduced in Foundations of Drawing and Painting. Gaining knowledge about the materials and craft of oil painting will be central to the course. Students will grind pigment into oil to make their own paints, prepare their own surfaces to paint upon and learn to handle an oil/varnish medium. A $50 studio fee will be collected.

Oil Painting II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8895)
Prerequisites: Oil Painting I and department recommendation; $50 materials fee

Students continue the explorations begun in Oil Painting I, deepening the knowledge of the medium and techniques.

Portfolio (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8900)
Prerequisite: Foundation of Drawing and Painting (Standard) and department invitation. This course is highly recommended for the Junior

Students will be expected to do outside reading, homework, and independent studio work as they work toward the production of a portfolio to use for acceptance to art schools or art programs in traditional liberal arts colleges. It is recommended that this portfolio course be taken only after a student has taken at least one advanced art course that focuses on a particular medium.

AP Studio Art

1 ½ Credit (8899/8896)
Prerequisite: Department invitation

Students will be involved in a concentrated studio of drawing, two-dimensional art and/or threedimensional art. Emphasis in each area begins with fundamental techniques and includes design principles, the creative process, historical perspective, and contemporary trends. All students will be expected to do substantial outside-of-class work as they complete a portfolio in one or more of these areas for submission to the Advanced Placement program. It is recommended that this portfolio course be taken only after a student has taken at least one advanced art course that focuses on a particular medium. This course will run every day first semester and every other day second semester.

Digital Graphics and Design I (Standard)

1 Credit (8874)
Prerequisite: Foundations of Drawing and Painting or by department recommendation; materials fee

This course will expose students to the process of graphic design using computer technology as a tool. Techniques of digital enhancement of photographs and scanned images, and the creation of digital images will be used to explore the principles of graphic design. Learning the use of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop will be major components of this course.

Digital Graphics and Design II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8875)
Prerequisite: Digital Graphics and Design I and by department recommendation; materials fee

Students will explore beyond the basics and discover the power and versatility of vector artwork in this intermediate level of Adobe Illustrator. Students will also learn the many capabilities available in Adobe Photoshop and will continue to work toward the production of their portfolio.

Filmmaking I (Standard)

1 Credit (8871)
Prerequisite: For upperclassmen

Students will explore the fundamental principles of filmmaking. Focusing on storyboarding, cinematography, and editing, students will demonstrate that the primary means of storytelling in film is through visual composition. Students work in a collaborative environment to finished product, and will have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of the process. Computer literacy is a helpful skill for those wishing to deepen their knowledge of editing.

Filmmaking II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8873)
Prerequisite: Filmmaking I and by department recommendation

Students will explore advanced principles of filmmaking. While furthering cinematography and editing skills, students will also study directing and script writing. Typically, the whole class collaborates on a single, long-form project. Each student focuses on one or two areas of film production to achieve expertise in those roles and explore their own aesthetic. Because of the needs of actors and locations for the films produced by this class, filming outside of the school is often required.

Photography I (Standard)

1 Credit (8841)
Prerequisite: Seniors and Juniors; materials fee

Students will learn the foundation principles of photography and the skills and techniques of traditional film processing and printmaking through fine art framework. Composition, elements of design, aesthetics, visual literacy, and communication will be emphasized. Students will need a 35mm SLR camera with manual focus and exposure controls. A supplies fee is necessary to cover a portion of materials.

Photography II (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8842)
Prerequisites: Photography I and by department recommendation; materials fee

Students will engage in a guided discovery of their visual voice while learning advanced principles of photography. Building upon the foundation acquired in Photography I, topics will include the zone system, on camera filters, toning, hand-coloring, and advanced printing techniques. Students will build a portfolio through exploration of different genres.

Advanced Art (Accelerated)

1 Credit (8897)
Prerequisite: Department invitation

Students who wish to pursue intensive study in a particular medium, within the  visual arts, beyond that offered in our regular offerings may take Advanced Art in a medium one time. In consultation with the instructor, the student in this course will develop a demanding course of study and artistic production. The student will be scheduled into a regular class section of a course in the particular medium of interest. Admission into this course will be reserved for those students who have demonstrated a sincere, significant interest in pursuing artistic excellence, and will be by departmental invitation only.

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