In the seventh and eighth grades, students expand their knowledge of the elements and principles of art and continue to explore art as a visual language. Students chose two courses in art each year and each course concentrates on one medium. The students work with various materials and learn techniques within that medium. They work both from observation and from visual memory. The art courses draw on a wide variety of ideas, artists, and art to inspire the students and help them understand and appreciate the diversity of artistic expression. Exploration, problem solving, artistic expression and self-discovery form the frame work that guides our art projects. We strive to educate an artistically competent, adventuresome and confident student, who is generally comfortable thinking outside the box in all areas of study.
Digital Art and Yearbook Design
Students learn computer illustration techniques, image manipulation, digital camera use, and how to apply the principles and elements of art in a digital composition. Through the creation of posters, logos, digital paintings, and graphic designs, students become familiarized with the tools, layers, and filters in the programs Adobe Photoshop and ArtRage. Students use their graphic and artistic skills to design and produce the yearbook using an online publishing program.
In drawing class, students explore the use of various drawing materials from charcoal to pencil to pastel and ballpoint pen. Each material has its strengths. They explore texture, tone, pattern and color. They learn to manipulate space creating a deep landscape space or a flat abstracted space. Students learn to express emotions and express their own feelings. They learn the power of composition and what changes in scale can do to the impact of an image, as well as develop comfort with drawing.
The painting class places a strong emphasis on color, mixing colors from a limited palette, understanding how to use complementary colors to create shadows and creating color combinations that enhance each other. Understanding of composition and structure are also emphasized. The class paints landscapes, still lives, portraits and abstract pieces.
The printmaking course is designed to teach fundamental relief-printmaking techniques. Students produce prints using a variety of techniques and materials and they learn to prepare blocks, use carving tools and print by hand and on the press using water-based inks. Also covered are methods for creating reduction prints and alternative techniques, such as collage and hand-colored prints. Students learn to number and sign editions of prints and develop vocabulary of printmaking terms and techniques. The conscious use of elements and principles of art is encouraged in designing prints. Drawing and color-mixing techniques are an integral part of the course.
The sculpture class is materials based. Students are introduced to the basic tenants of sculpture, structure, composition, movement, color, pattern and design. Each project involves working with a different material and discovering its qualities and what type of sculpture it can become. Some of the materials that the students work with are wood, wire, tin, found objects, things found in nature and soap stone.
3D Art and Textile Design
Students explore materials such as canvas, yarn, wire, clay, wood, found objects, cardboard, and paper to produce 3-D mixed-media works of art. Students explore the representational and abstract qualities of form to produce free-standing or high-relief works of art. Students also have the freedom to choose from various materials to produce mixed-media weaving projects and fabric painting. Drawing and color mixing techniques are an integral part of the course.