The visual arts program is designed to lead students to self-discovery and expression while providing an artistic community for dialog, problem-solving and public display. The elements and principles of design are foundational in the development of a visual vocabulary and the understanding of visual organization. Each year field trips are planned exclusively for art students. Students have enjoyed outings to major art institutions and galleries.
The Lower School art room is located in a spacious studio equipped for a variety of art disciplines such as drawing, painting, and pottery. Because of the beauty of our unique campus setting, nature themes are often a focus of our artwork. Children are surrounded with visual inspiration even as they walk the pathway to art class.
As students enjoy creative experiences, they recognize the special contributions each can make in the learning process. Children discuss the power of the spoken word and their responsibility in speaking words of encouragement into each other's lives.
The first lesson launches students into the foundational discipline of drawing. Drawing is basic to art experiences, whether creating or critiquing, because as students learn to draw well, they learn to see well. Developing the skill to observe carefully will enhance student ability to learn in so many areas.
Each year, the Lower School focuses on an interdisciplinary learning experience. The topics include social studies and natural sciences. In art class, students in every grade engage in a project that reflects and enhances their learning in the classroom. Art is interwoven with other academics throughout the year.
Art history is an integral part of the Lower School curriculum, with a focus on Impressionism. Students alternate learning about French and American Impressionist painters, and develop painting skills with acrylic on canvas. T
In Studio Art 6, students explore various methods of making art with an emphasis on both direct observation and imagination. Students will begin to take ownership of their own creative processes with projects that have a balance of guidance and student-driven components. In addition, an introduction to artistic principles such as basic color theory, shape relationships, and composition will be explored and used throughout the semester in various ways.
Studio Art 7 provides students an expanding exposure to various forms of art styles, media, and techniques. Students develop their knowledge and skill of the elements and principles of design, and will focus more expressively on imaginative subject matter, as well as learning to see artistic properties of things that may not be normally considered. They will be given more control within the outlined projects and begin to more fully cultivate their own unique voices.
In Studio Art 8, students will build on prior artistic experiences and understanding as well as introduce some new media and techniques. The goal is to both provide students with new opportunities to create as well as expand on areas of known interest. More in-depth exploration of design, color, composition, and critique will be vital in furthering the meaning and depth of their artistic understanding. Students will work mainly from observation, both in 3D works as well as 2D, and learn to combine both imagination with the observable world, putting their own creative spin on things. Students will have much more control over the choices made within each project so as to allow students to present/execute their own ideas and methods.
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.
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 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.
3D Design is an introductory sculpture course exploring both traditional and experimental methods of 3D Design. Students use principles derived from 2D Design to help formulate conceptual ideas. Students experiment with the formal qualities of materials such as wire, clay, stone, paper and textile. Additionally, students spend time outdoors building earthen sculptures inspired by nature. 3D Design students explore historical and contemporary topics, as well as art vocabulary including; abstraction, stylization, gesture, movement, space, pattern, rhythm and form. Serious students of art, especially those considering art school, can begin the process of building a three dimensional portfolio to be continued with greater focus in Portfolio Development class.
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.
Portfolio Development is an intensive course that places emphasis on the individual development of art portfolios. Students must submit written statements describing their artistic vision each semester. Students then work from their medium of choice and must meet strict 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 exploring the nuances of formal design. Students are expected to work productively inside and outside of class, contribute to critiques and participate in all art-related trips and events. Students participate in National Portfolio Day, Scholastic Art Awards, regional art exhibitions, museum and studio visits. Work from Portfolio Development is featured annually in the Spring Art Show held in the Great Hall.
Journalism/Yearbook focuses on visual and textual media and its role in the new century. Online media has
tremendously impacted the field of publishing, specifically in yearbook creation at The Master’s School. Students in grades 10 through 11 may apply for a ‘staff’ position in this class. Students go through an application process and must obtain teacher references Students entering 10th grade will be pre-selected based on faculty recommendations. Staff will use a Lifetouch website to design pages, write (copy, captions, and headlines), and select photos. All staff members are expected to produce photographs for publishing and will be trained in photography elements. Because deadlines are inflexible in this field, great emphasis is placed on time management. Staff will be trained in selling advertisements. Advertisement is the traditional way to support publication of a school’s yearbook. Students involved in sports year round are advised to seriously consider whether they have time for this additional academic commitment.
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.