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Visual Arts

The Middle school art program provides an integrated sequence of art instruction and experiences intended to instill in each student the skills and information needed to ensure a lasting appreciation of the importance of art in our lives.

All students learn a variety of practical skills such as drawing, the use of design principles, and color theory. The eighth grade student has the opportunity to choose art as an elective in addition to the required art course. One offering is 2-D Design and the other course elective is 3-D Design and Sculpture. Many types of media are used to create 2-D projects. These materials include pastels, colored pencil, printmaking, and watercolor.

The 3-D design course is an exploration of media such as clay, plaster, fused glass and found materials. Technology is also important to the curriculum as students work from web quests for research projects on Impressionism and Modern Art. The principles that brought about discovery, growth and changes in art are also explored.


6th Grade – Half Block

Throughout the year students learn basic observational skills, attention to detail and introduction to color theory through a series of drawing and painting exercises. Sixth graders are introduced to design basics in the creation of both games and devices and participate in a series of collaborative projects with the Technology department.  Students’ primary learning is centered in fun, observation, quality of craftsmanship, learning what makes a good collaborator and basic reflection.

7th Grade – Half Block

In seventh grade art students learn a variety of skills and are given the time to experiment with a range of media. Students create projects using perspective, have continued focus on observation and work in mix media.  Students’ primary learning is based in fun, brainstorming, experimentation, patience, and developing confidence in their creativity.

8th Grade – Two Quarters

Eighth grade students see a major shift in their class work and are pushed to question art and design more. They begin the school year learning about Street Art including the controversy surrounding it. In addition to continuously building technical skills students are given the opportunity to do their first independent projects where they generate the ideas, problem solve through the process and are challenged to continuously edit, improve and reflect upon their work. The primary instruction in eighth grade is focused on helping students see art and design at more than face value, building creative confidence, an introduction to independence, fun and preparing students for the transition into an upper school curriculum.