The middle school visual arts curriculum encourages personal artistic expression. Students are given the freedom within a structured and supportive environment to develop ideas grounded in their own experiences. Students become familiar with artists of many cultures throughout history. Classes visit museums to experience first-hand the art they are studying. At times, projects tie into social studies and current events curricula.
Sixth grade students learn new techniques and express themselves creatively in a materials-based curriculum that includes drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking. They keep a sketchbook where they plan, sketch, and collect references and other resources. Students enjoy making art both individually and collaboratively.
Seventh grade students enroll in a year-long woodworking class. They build complex projects, including puppets, carved colonial signs, colonial toys, and race cars. Students work collaboratively, sharing ideas and a variety of woodworking tools and techniques. The emphasis is on the design process and problem-solving, not on the finished product. As the year progresses, students become quite skilled and produce very impressive pieces.
Eighth grade students learn to plan, execute, and evaluate their artwork with greater sophistication. They are taught to consider the formal aspects of art making, while further developing their artistic vision. Units include digital photography, perspective drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking. Eighth graders research modern and contemporary artists and make a presentation on an artist of their choice.
The whole school looks forward to Arts Night every spring, when students share what they have accomplished in their classes with friends and family. Students from age five through twelfth grade showcase their creativity and hard work with displays of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and multimedia projects.