Visual Arts classes are rooted in hands-on studio art practices in drawing, painting, color theory, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. Taught by dedicated arts-professionals, each course offering explores traditional and contemporary perspectives, integrating the use of technology and digital media. All ability levels participate in lively studio art courses. Students learn how to apply elements and principles of design to their own unique expressions, while also discovering the value of creativity beyond the art room. Upper level courses like Portfolio Development practice advanced studio methods, examine careers in the arts, and prepare students for art school acceptance. TMS graduates have received prestigious awards, attending top art schools across the country. Students of all grade levels regularly participate in community events, and regional exhibitions including the Scholastic Art Awards.
Lower School Art
The Lower School art room is located in a spacious studio equipped for a variety of art disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking and pottery. Nature themes are often a focus of artwork inspired by the beauty of our unique surroundings. As students enjoy creative experiences, they recognize the special contributions each can make in the learning process. In art class we think deeply, have meaningful discussions and work toward wonderful creative design solutions. Children become equipped with concepts, vocabulary, techniques, skills, understandings in art history, and exposure to a variety of art forms. While delighting in stimulating art experiences offered in a safe, nurturing environment, they are developing confidence and ability to observe, critique, take risks and persevere. Our focus on design provides many opportunities to consider the work of The Creator, and recognize His unique design and plan for each life. We celebrate our learning in an annual all-school Spring Art Show.
Middle School Studio Art
In Middle School Art, students explore a wide variety of art-making mediums including painting, collage, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics. The emphasis on drawing continues from the Lower School, and into the Upper School. Students regularly use their sketchbooks to practice drawing from direct observation, as well as the exploration of creative concepts. Assignments are based on the elements and principles of design, and encourage the development of unique points of view. Students develop a mastery of foundational skills that prepare them for the Upper School art experience.
Upper School Studio Art I
Studio Art I students utilize drawing and painting as foundational tools to express the character of form, identify negative space, and build an improved understanding of compositional design. Students learn techniques in charcoal, colored pencil, watercolor, pen and ink, acrylic and pastel. Emphasis is placed on the effect of light on form, as well as basic color theory. Students create artwork derived from both direct observation and imagination. Studio Art I provides an essential foundation for Studio Art II, 3D Art, and Portfolio Development.
Upper School Studio Art II
Studio Art II students explore both traditional and experimental techniques of art making. Contemporary, historical, and spiritual contexts of art are common topics of study. In this advanced course, techniques of drawing and oil painting are explored in depth. Students are introduced to the study of figure drawing using the classic draped figure as primary subject matter. Emphasis is placed on imagination and the development of each student’s unique creative voice. Serious students of art, especially those considering art school, begin the process of building a portfolio that may be continued with greater focus the following year during Portfolio Development class.
Upper School 3D Design
3D Design is an introductory sculpture course, which continues the use of the elements and principles of art through exploring a variety of medium. In class students learn various methods of sculptural expression including relief, clay, found objects, and the interplay between word and image. Students conceive thoughtful and personal expressions of these mediums through intentional planning from concept, to material, to message. Students engage in classroom critiques for each project and gain experience in articulately presenting their own work, as well as developing an artist eye through observing peer works. Finally, students concisely express their artistic process and message through a written artist statement.
Upper School Art and Social Media
Art and Social Media challenges students to use a fine arts mind-set to build a strong web-presence. Students apply their original artwork, digital photos, videos and journal entries to a breadth of digital tools including: social media, websites, blogs, and video channels. Students learn to critically analyze the form and function of digital media from a creative perspective, improving sensibilities that positively reflect the totality of their digital identity. Art and Social Media equips students to tell their unique stories, find gifting and purpose, build empathy and to value creativity. Final projects are self-directed, serving the individual interests of each student including: digital resume and portfolio, sports scouting website, creative blog, online forum supporting a specific cause, online store.
Upper School Portfolio Development
Portfolio Development is an intensive course that places emphasis on the individual development of art portfolios. Students submit written statements describing their artistic vision each semester. Students then work from their medium of choice and meet quarterly deadlines. Course objectives include improving understanding of the creative process, expanding knowledge of art history and vocabulary, developing a breadth of technical abilities and exploration of the nuances of formal design. Students work inside and outside of class, contribute to critiques and participate in art-related trips and events including National Portfolio Day, Scholastic Art Awards, regional art exhibitions, museum and studio visits.
UCONN Early College Experience Drawing I
Drawing I is a beginning-level college course focusing on a variety of topics including compositional design, art history as it pertains to drawing, and technical mastery of drawing materials. Students explore charcoal, ink, and graphite among a variety other mediums. Working from direct observation students learn to express line, proportion, space, light, form, texture and perspective. Individual critique, class discussion and drawing demonstrations are central to this dynamic studio art course. University course standards and content is guided by the University of Connecticut and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). Successful completion of this class will confer three University of Connecticut credits for the ARTS 1030: Drawing I course.