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The Arts

Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Department offers a broad range of courses for students of with all levels of artistic training.
Foundation level classes focus on building creative and technical skills through an array of media. Students also learn to develop their understanding of aesthetics, and critical visual analysis. As students progress to more advanced levels, they continue to expand and hone their conceptual and technical knowledge. Advanced level students design their coursework with faculty, exploring and growing their creative vision and interests. Three major art exhibitions, with many smaller ones, are mounted throughout the year.

List of 5 items.

  • Drawing and Design

    Drawing and Design is the entry-level studio art course. The class covers a wide variety of technical challenges (color theory, modeling perspective, and composition) and the use of many different art materials (pencils, pastels, watercolors, and acrylics). Assignments include work from observation, memory, and imagination. Sculpture projects, digital tools, and Photoshop are introduced in this skill-building class, which is appropriate for students who have extensive art experience as well as those with little or no background in visual art. Study of artists and stylistic movements, occasional writing projects, technical vocabulary study, and class critiques help develop students’ abilities to understand, discuss, and craft art.    
  • Intermediate Art

    Intermediate Art explores a variety of media and approaches to drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital design, and graphics. Building from the skills introduced in Drawing and Design, assignments in Intermediate Art further develop personal style and creative expression. This course may be repeated for credit as the curriculum assignments change each semester, an approach that allows students’ art to progress over time. 
  • Advanced Projects in Art

    This course is for seniors with a strong background in the visual arts that want to create a mature and full body of work. Students hone their personal style and self-expression. In addition to regular assignments, students design a project by choosing a theme to pursue in great depth. Throughout the semester, twentieth-century and contemporary works are studied in order to stimulate new ideas, build knowledge of art history, add to the conversations in critiques, and further the understanding of craftsmanship. Students in this class exhibit their work in a group show at the end of the school year.
  • Beginning, Intermediate, & Advanced Photography

    How can we capture dynamic light, create compelling compositions, and convey ideas though photographic images? Beginning photography focuses on providing students with the skills and materials required to address these questions. Students begin by learning the basic principles of photography, the functions of manual 35mm film cameras, developing black and white film, and darkroom printing techniques.

    After building this foundation, intermediate and advanced classes explore more nuanced analog techniques as well as digital photographic imaging and alternative/historical photographic processes. Conversations about the history of photography and bi-weekly group critiques of student work are essential components of all photography courses. Through these conversations students cultivate the ability to articulate ideas about visual images and understand their context within the greater medium of photography. Students who wish to continue with photography after four semesters may propose a personalized course of semester-long inquiry that delves more deeply into a specific area of technical and conceptual interest.
  • Nexus: A Course in Design and Creation

    What is creativity in an age of technology, where art is no longer confined to the traditional disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture, or even photography? Nexus is a visual arts class that investigates this question at the intersection of art, design, technology, and culture in the contemporary landscape.

    Using computer design software, 3-D printers, laser cutters, and sewing machines in conjunction with the more traditional artistic approaches of drawing, crafting, and sculpting, students investigate various aspects of design. Over the course of the semester, students explore the technical side of whimsy, embarking on a variety of maker projects tailored towards skill acquisition. Accounting for all aspects of the design process, students start with basic mock-up sketches in pencil, move to computer software renderings of designed pieces, and ultimately fabricate objects using the tools available in our maker space (the X-Lab) and the Art Room.           

List of 2 members.

The College Preparatory School

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right
Photo Credit: Dan Battle, Mark Compton, Bosky Frederick, Polly Lockman, Richard Wheeler, and Jonathan Zucker.