Visual Arts Courses

2022-23 Visual Arts Course Offerings

3D Cardboard Design
Description:  This class focuses on 2D drafting to create 3D projects. 3D design will make use of cardboard and chipboard materials. Students will be using box-cutters and X-Acto knives to construct 3D models. Students will be introduced to basic ideas of construction and architectural planning skills. Projects will include designing a haunted house, an animal head, and mini-studies of well-known sculptures. The work of artist James Grashaw will be discussed and analyzed with respect to the topics of permanence in art and the distinction between plagiarism and inspiration.

Basic Black and White Photography
Description:  This course is designed to introduce the basic concepts and skills of black and white photography. This class focuses on proper use of the camera, darkroom techniques, and creative photography. Students learn about the history of photography through discussion of the work of 19th and early 20th century photographers as well as contemporary photographic artists, and through demonstration of lensless photography. This course builds students’ creative confidence through active learning, creativity, and play.

Block Printing
Description:  This course utilizes the graphics process of block printing, which involves carving away part of a wood or rubber block and printing the remaining raised portion. The history of block printing and a study of block printing artist, M. C. Escher are on-going themes throughout the course.

CNC Woodworking
Description:  The CNC Woodworking class takes the student through the process of planning, designing, programming and running projects on a Shopbot CNC machine. The students will learn the process and create original pieces. They will have the opportunity to choose and design their own projects and see them through to a final product. Students are limited only by their imaginations in this class. As they master the Vcarve software, they will see their ideas come to fruition. Time will be divided between the desktop publishing computer room and the woodshop. While in the computer room, students will learn the software and design their projects. The second portion of the class will take place in the woodshop where their projects will be created using the CNC Shopbot machine.

Desktop Publishing & Yearbook
Description:  This course utilizes the computer software Adobe Creative Suite to produce the school’s yearbook. Targeted skills include using digital cameras, scanners, preparing photographs for publication, page layout and design, and meeting publisher’s deadlines.

Digital Drawing
Description:  Operating in Adobe Fresco, students will become familiar with the digital drawing software and related techniques. Students will explore a range of possibilities within the digital drawing world based in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.

Description:  Drawing helps students learn to translate the world around them into 2-D space. This course explores fundamental drawing techniques through observational study and the use of a variety of drawing materials and methods. Individual instruction is given, with periodic group critiques providing the source of shared challenges and inspirations. This class follows a plan of sequential projects building on fundamental drawing principles.

Fashion Sketching
Description:  Fashion sketching focuses on creating the fashion figure referred to as a croquis. Students will be introduced to techniques pertaining to rendering the fashion form using marker, colored pencil and watercolor. Reading and analyzing fashion trends and mood boards will help inform students’ sketches. This class will culminate with the creation of a 8-10 look line-up, and students will be expected to participate in a constructive critique, giving and receiving comments among their peers. Students will design their own set of croquis forms to represent their personal style and intentions.

Fiber Arts
Description:  This class will focus on contemporary-styled fiber art wall hangings. Students will be introduced to the differences between natural and synthetic fibers and experiment to see how each type of fiber takes dye differently. Students will practice multiple techniques, including wrapping, braiding, weaving, felting, and fraying which they will apply to their own fiber wall hanging designs. Students will also explore color palette development and keep records of dye labs to create their own colorways.

Film as Art
Description:  Film as Art explores American and foreign films as an art form. The objective is to develop a keen, critical appreciation of films, from all over the world, as art. The method is to work with established criteria for judging and appreciating the film medium. Students view films and read the reviews of each film. Then each student writes his or her own review based on the established criteria.

Hand Built Pottery
Description:  Hand Built Pottery covers the basics of creating pottery by hand. Students will be exposed to the main terms and techniques that accompany the making pottery. The first half of the course focuses on learning the process for creating with clay, and students will be asked to follow along with task-specific demonstrations to understand fully how a technique works and its purpose. The basic hand techniques of coil, pinch pot and slab construction will be taught. Once proficient with these processes, students will plan and create their own pottery pieces to be glazed and fired in the kiln to presentation-worthy completion. Students will also be required to make preparatory sketches in their sketchbooks to plan their individual pieces.

Introduction to Watercolor
Description:  This class will focus on the range of what can be done with watercolor. Students will work with tube, pan, and liquid watercolors. Coursework will consist of observational work as well as experimental work. The class will cover basic techniques (e.g., wet on wet, wet on dry) as well as experimental techniques like incorporating salt, plastic wrap, and alcohol to create new textures.

Making with Lasers
Description:  Students in this course will become familiar with laser cutters and their different applications. The course begins with work in Corel Draw to create designs, models and prototypes. Students will then learn how to operate the makerspace laser. Challenge projects in design, cutting and assembly will be assigned. A final project will be determined and completed.

Making with Metal
Description:  In this course, students will be introduced to different areas of working with metal. Whether it is to solve a problem or to create a piece of art, metal can be used in many different ways. We will explore melting steel and casting it into new parts, welding and the different types and applications, sheet metal and assorted types of steel stock. Students will start with instruction, be assigned a number of challenges, then decide on a final project.

Making with Metal Exploratory
Description:  In this course, students will learn the basics of cutting metal, shaping metal, MIG welding, and turning steel/aluminum on a metal lathe. Students will have the opportunity to practice their new skill in the making of an individual project.

Mixed Art Media
Description:  The Mixed Media course encourages creative expression that incorporates multiple materials within two-dimensional artwork. Openness to experimentation is essential. Through freely manipulating traditional materials such as pencil, ink, paint, chalk, and crayons with non-traditional materials such as adhesives, foils, and transfers, students develop a flexible approach to the problem of visually expressing and presenting their creative thoughts.

Description:  This course utilizes the computer graphics program, Adobe Photoshop CS3. Targeted skills include scanning, digital photography, manipulation of photographs, collages and the basics of digital darkroom techniques.

Pottery Lab
Description:  This one-term lab course provides access to the pottery studio for an advanced student to use the wheel independently. Students enrolling in the Pottery Lab must be self-sufficient and experienced on the wheel.

Screen Printing for Commercial Graphics
Description:  This course utilizes the graphics process of screen printing, focusing on projects such as t-shirts, stickers and posters found in the commercial graphics field. In screen-printing, the principle involved is forcing ink through a stenciled screen. Procedures for making screens will include both hand-cut and photographic methods.

Screen Printing: Warhols
Description:  This course utilizes the graphics process of screen printing. In screen-printing, the principle involved is forcing ink through a stenciled screen which has been created utilizing a photographic process. Basic art skills such as drawing, painting and color theory are targeted. Students create a ‘self-portrait’ in the style and manner of 60’s pop artist, Andy Warhol who is considered to be the first artist to combine the areas of fine-arts and graphics.

Studio Art & Portfolio Preparation
Description:  This class is designed for students who want to continue their artistic efforts at a more advanced level and/or intend to participate in post-high school graduation education at an art school, college, or university. Students work in all areas of art with particular emphasis on drawing, painting, and two-dimensional design. Through a variety of projects students are encouraged to look at and respond to themselves in terms of the aesthetic world around them. Students experience many opportunities to explore varied media, art styles, and subjects. To be successful in this class, students are required to complete homework on a weekly basis and keep a thorough personal sketchbook of observation sketches.

Description:  This course acquaints the students with the essential principles of woodworking. Topics include wood characteristics, use of hand tools, portable power tools, and basic machinery. Emphasis is placed on proper technique, safety, and policies for the woodshop. Students complete a project designed to develop primary woodworking skills.

Woodworking: Box Making
Description:  In this course students learn basic woodworking techniques, power/hand tool use and safety while making a small box project. The project will start with a student generated design idea, developed cooperatively with the teacher. As the design evolves, the student will learn about design aspects as well as how various woodworking techniques play an important role in the project’s development. Each student will complete a small box of their own design before the term’s completion.


Meet Our Visual Arts and Woodworking Faculty

Mr. Mike Richard

Arts Department Chair 
and Graphics Arts Teacher

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Ms. Finleigh Riendeau

Fine Arts Teacher

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Mr. Jeff Myra

Woodworking Teacher

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