Fine Arts: Visual Arts

The mission of the Fine Arts Department is to offer instruction, resources, and a culture that inspires students to develop artistic awareness and proficiency by providing a professional environment and a comprehensive curriculum in the visual and performing arts. We believe that the exploratory creative process encourages cognitive growth and builds problem solving skills that promote resilience and flexible thinking.

Visual Arts

The extensive visual art courses described below are supplemented with extracurricular activities such as the Art Club, Intaglio Society, and Fashion Club.

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 and watercolor. This course introduces a foundation of technical and language skills, upon which further visual art studies will be built. 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)
Prerequisite: 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)
Prerequisite: 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 egg 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 light reflection. The course will finish with a study in egg 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.

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 water-based mediums will be balanced with lectures and individual projects.

Printmaking I (Standard)
1 Credit (8856)
Prerequisite: Foundations of Drawing
and Painting
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.

Printmaking II (Accelerated)
1 Credit (8857)
Prerequisite: Printmaking I
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 the 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. Students registered in this class are eligible to join Intaglio Society, and may apply for our annual workshop in Florence, Italy.

Clay I (Standard)
1 Credit (8867)
Prerequisite: Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors
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 may 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 groups of people.From the most primitive pit-fired 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
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; materials fee
Students learn the basics of sewing, design and color, and how to create a pattern through draping techniques.Figure drawing skills will be developed through creating illustrations.Students will also learn the basics of jewelry design, beading, and textile printmaking.Students will keep abreast of the current and contemporary trends in the fashion industry and will work toward the production of a portfolio.

Fashion Design II (Accelerated)
1 Credit (8864)
Prerequisites: Foundations of Drawing and Painting, Fashion Design I; materials fee
Students build upon the skills and techniques attained in Fashion Design I and create a garment from design concept to completion.Learning how to fit a mannequin and a live model will be part of the process.

The semester will culminate with students participating in a professional fashion show and the production of a portfolio.

Oil Painting I (Standard)
1 Credit (8893)
Prerequisite: Foundations of Drawing and Painting; materials fee
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)
Prerequisite: Oil Painting I; 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); with department recommendation. This course is highly recommended for the Junior year
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 with: Department recommendation
Students will be involved in a concentrated studio of drawing, two-dimensional art and/or three-dimensional 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; 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. Students will work toward the production of a portfolio.

Digital Graphics and Design II (Accelerated)
1 Credit (8875)
Prerequisite: Digital Graphics and Design I; 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 finish a 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
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 a 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; 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 recommendation
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 recommendation only.