Visual Arts students work with metal, glass, and flame at Oakland makerspace
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.
This introductory 6-week art course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore a wide variety of media and techniques. In addition to creating artwork, students will use technology to communicate, conduct research, create and publish artwork. Assessment is based on each student’s effort, attitude and work ethic, not on their individual artistic skills.
Art 8 builds on concepts and techniques introduced in Art 7. Eighth grade 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 that allow them to successfully communicate their unique artistic viewpoint. Students continue to use technology to conduct research, create and publish their artwork. At the end of the semester, they display their semester’s work in an end-of-semester art show.
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.
- Art Theory + Practice 1
- Art Theory + Practice 2
- Art Independent Study
- Graphic Design 1
- Graphic Design 2
- Digital Photography
- Fabric Arts
- AP Art History
- AP Studio Art: Drawing
- AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
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 may be taken by students in grade 10 or 11 and fulfill half of the Visual and Performing Arts requirements.
Art Theory and Practice 2 is an Intermediate Art Theory 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, 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 is offered to students in grades 11 or 12 and completes the Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement.
Independent Study in Studio Art is a unique class that is different for each student. The teacher will not provide a prescribed curriculum for the entire class; rather, students will design their own projects that adhere to a specific theme. Over the course of the semester, students will explore 4 different themes. While the artwork must somehow address and adhere to the theme, students choose their materials, process and subject matter. Students document their daily process and finished work through daily blog posts. Each project concludes with a group critique in which students both provide and receive feedback for their work. Students showcase their artwork in periodic displays and also in the end-of-semester art show. This course is open to all students in grades 9-12 and students may take the class as many times as they wish.
Graphic Design incorporates a number of different design and computer skills that challenges creativity. Throughout the semester students focus on the programs Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. They learn about the elements and principles of design in producing a number of completed projects. These projects range from showing emotion through a visual rather than text form to CD and Poster Designs. This course is available to students in grades 10 through 12 and fulfills an Upper Division Elective requirement.
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 learning the basics of Adobe Photoshop. Projects range from Activist Posters to developing a brand for a product line. This course is available to students in grades 10 through 12 and fulfills an Upper Division Elective requirement.
Grade 11, 12
Digital Photography is an introductory photography course that covers many different subject matters. 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. This elective is offered to students in grades 10-12.
Fabric Arts focuses on projects where students can manipulate fiber to create art to wear or hang on a wall. Students learn about color, texture, and fabric choice. They learn how to operate a sewing machine and over-lock, take proper measurements, understand sewing terms and techniques, and how to use and alter commercial patterns, as well as how to up-cycle thrift store finds. More skills such as basic draping and pattern making are available for those students who demonstrate advanced ability. Students move at their own pace and are graded on their participation and rate of improvement. This elective is offered to students in grades 9-12.
Grades 11, 12
The AP Art History course explores such topics as the nature of art, its uses, its meanings, art making, and responses to art. Through investigation of diverse artistic traditions of cultures from prehistory to the present, the course fosters in-depth and holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students learn and apply skills of visual, contextual and comparative analysis to engage with a variety of art forms, constructing understanding of individual works and interconnections of art-making processes and products throughout history.
Grades 11, 12
AP Studio Art: Drawing is a college level course offered to students in grades 11 or 12. 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 a portfolio of 24 artworks to the AP Board for review.
Grade 11, 12
AP Studio Art: 2D Design is a college level course offered to students in grades 11 or 12. 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 a portfolio of 24 artworks 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.