Visual Arts

The arts curriculum promotes visual literacy while providing an opportunity for students to discover their own unique style, artistic expression, and creativity. Designated art rooms at all three campuses provide settings that allow students a venue for creative exploration. The curriculum emphasizes drawing and painting projects in addition to instruction on a vast art-related vocabulary. In every class, master works are presented in an effort to inspire students and contribute towards their knowledge of art history. These core skills help improve artistic capabilities and provide the necessary background for students to formulate and express opinions about their own work, their peers’ work, and the work of the masters.

Visual Arts | Grades 7-12

The Upper Campus Visual Arts program (7-12) focuses on creating competent artists and communicators. Our curriculum encourages experimentation and helps young artists communicate their unique voice, develop proficiency in various media, and appreciate art history and contemporary art.



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Visual Arts at Pinewood | 2017 Newsletter

The Visual Arts Newsletter is an annual publication featuring the recent work of our talented students – from inside the classroom and beyond.

Visual Arts at Pinewood | 2016 Newsletter


Course Catalog

Grades 7-8

Art 7

Grade 7
Art 7 is an introductory art course in which all 7th grade students participate. The course provides students with the opportunity to explore a wide variety of media and techniques through a six-week theme based unit. Students explore the chosen theme through drawing, painting, sculpture and animation. iPads are used to conduct research, and create and publish student artwork. At the end of the semester, all three Art 7 sections share their projects during a culminating animation screening.

Art 8

Grade 8

Art 8 builds on concepts and techniques introduced in Art 7. Student artists continue to explore a wide variety of media and techniques through several theme-based units and projects. In each unit, they acquire new technical skills allowing them to successfully communicate their unique artistic viewpoint. Students continue to use technology to conduct research, and create and publish their artwork. At the end of the semester they display their work in the Winter Arts Festival.

Digital Multimedia 8

Grade 8

Digital Multimedia 8 provides students with the necessary technical and creative skills to be effective communicators in the digital world. Using today’s technology and resources, students learn to create, thoughtfully curate, and communicate with digital media. This project-based class will use Photoshop for digital photography and image manipulation, iMovie to film original movies/videos, and ExplainEverything to create projects where the sky and imagination are the only limits. Students will use ePortfolios to become their own producers, project managers, and curators as they manage, organize, share, reflect, and display their work for review.

Grades 9-12

Art Theory + Practice 1

Grade 10

Art Theory and Practice 1 is an introductory art theory course that focuses on the elements of art and how to apply them to art making. Students become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpting, and collage materials. Group critiques sharpen critical thinking skills while students also become familiar with art history and how artists apply the elements of design in their work. This course fulfills half of the Visual and Performing Arts requirement

Art Theory + Practice 2

Grade 11
Art Theory and Practice 2 is an intermediate art theory course that focuses on learning the principles of design and how to apply them to art making. Students continue to work in both 2-D and 3-D media as they refine their techniques and begin to add meaning and depth to their work. To sharpen critical thinking skills, students frequently discuss, and write and blog about their artwork. Students also become familiar with art history and how artists apply the principles of design in their work, especially in contemporary art. This course completes the Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement.

Art Independent Study

Grades 9-12
In Art Independent Study, students have the opportunity to explore materials, processes and subject matter that are of particular interest to them. Students work directly with the teacher to decide on a theme and process which they would like to investigate, then spend the semester developing a cohesive body of work. This elective is open to all students in grades 9 through 12. (course may be taken multiple times)

Graphic Design 1

Grades 10-12
Graphic Design I incorporates a number of different design and computer skills that challenge creativity. The creative design programs, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, are the focus throughout the semester. Students learn about the elements and principles of design as they complete a number of projects. These projects range from showing emo- 42 tion through a visual rather than text form to CD and poster designs. This course fulfills an Upper Division Elective requirement.

Graphic Design 2

Grade 11, 12
Graphic Design 2 is an extension of Graphic Design 1. Students explore complex lessons where self-motivation drives the project development. Students use Adobe Illustrator as the main creation tool while also strengthening basic Adobe Photoshop skills. Projects range from activist posters to developing a brand for a product line. This course fulfills an Upper Division Elective requirement.

Digital Photography

Grade 11, 12
Digital Photography is an introductory photography course in which students look at landscapes, portraits, abstractions, advertisements and many other content areas to influence their work and showcase how they view the world. Students become familiar with digital cameras as well as the program Adobe Photoshop. Students express themselves creating unique projects that are thought provoking and attractive.

AP Art History

Grades 11, 12
AP Art History is a college-level course designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills as they acquire an understanding and knowledge of artwork and the historical context in which it was produced throughout history. Students will examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from the earliest artwork through contemporary pieces from a variety of cultures. While visual analysis is a fundamental tool of the art historian, AP Art History also emphasizes understanding how and why art functions in context, considering such issues as patronage, gender, and the functions and effects of the art itself. After completing this course, students will take the AP Art History Exam.

AP Studio Art: Drawing

Grades 11, 12
AP Studio Art: Drawing is a college-level course for juniors and seniors. Students complete twenty-four pieces of art before the end of the year; twelve pieces correspond to the breadth section of their portfolio and twelve pieces correspond to the concentration section of their portfolio. The Drawing Portfolio addresses a very broad interpretation of drawing issues and media. Students learn line quality, light and shade, rendering of form, composition, surface manipulation, the illusion of depth, and mark-making through a variety of means which could include painting, printmaking, mixed media. Student abstract, observational, and invented works demonstrate drawing competence. At the conclusion of the course the students submit their portfolio of twenty-four pieces to the AP Board for review.

AP Studio Art: 2-D Design

Grade 11, 12
AP Studio Art: 2D Design is a college-level course for juniors and seniors. Students complete twenty-four pieces of art before the end of the year; twelve pieces correspond to the breadth section of their portfolio and twelve pieces correspond to the concentration section of their portfolio. The 2D Design Portfolio addresses two-dimensional design issues. Students demonstrate understanding of 2D design through any two-dimensional medium or process, including, but not limited to, graphic design, digital imaging, photography, collage, fabric design, weaving, fashion design, fashion illustration, painting and printmaking. At the conclusion of the course the students submit their portfolio of twenty-four pieces to the AP Board for review.


Visual Arts | Grades K-6

The K-6 Visual Arts program focuses on providing opportunities for students to discover their own unique style, artistic expression, and creativity through drawing, painting, papier-mâché, clay, book making, sculpture, animation, and more.

Kindergarten students create Fairy Houses using colorful paper, feathers, beads, stickers, and more!

Second-grade students build and decorate majestic castles from cardboard.


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Art in the Redwoods

Twelve of our Visual Arts students spent last weekend hiking, creating, and bonding in Portola Redwoods State Park.

Robust Enrichment + Rigorous Academics | True to Our Roots

Considering our strong foundation, it’s no wonder that Pinewood students’ academic achievements match or exceed those of any school in the area. And with the guidance of our comprehensive, expert-­led college counseling program, our students go on to attend the finest colleges and universities in the nation.