Visual Arts Courses

2020–21 Visual Arts Course Offerings

Basic Black and White Photography
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 nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographers, contemporary photographic artists, and through demonstration of lens-less photography.

Book Arts
Book Arts refers to all types of handcrafted books. This course introduces students to the concept of the book as an art form. It will increase awareness and appreciation of the beauty and variations in artists’ books and develop students’ skills in the handling of the materials and tools necessary in creating a book. A special focus of Book Arts will be one-of-a-kind artists’ books: a vibrant medium where creativity can be expressed through the considerations of typography, illustration, page design, text, binding structures, and presentation. Creating an artist’s book is a process of continued growth and creativity.

CNC Woodworking
The CNC Woodworking class takes the student through the process of planning, designing, programming, and running projects on a ShopBot CNC machine. Students 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 ShopBot CNC machine.

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

Hand-Built Pottery
This course emphasizes the expressive potential of pinch, coil, and slab construction pottery. Students are assigned weekly projects based on the instructor’s demonstrations. Projects range from creating functional to sculptural forms, introducing students to methods of pottery making, decorating, and techniques and tools for developing the aesthetics of form and function in pottery making.

Making the Möbius: Community CNC Sculpture
In Making the Möbius, students will work on a portion of a STEM building sculpture which will be located in the math wing breakout space. Students will prepare and run the CNC machine to make hundreds of pieces that will be finished in the shop and then assembled in place over the course of a school year. This is a one-term class.

Making with Lasers
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
In this course students will be introduced into 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, and sheet metal and assorted types of steel stock. Students will start with instruction, be assigned a number of challenges, and then decide on a final project.

Mixed Art Media
The Mixed Art 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 nontraditional materials such as adhesives, foils, and transfers, students develop a flexible approach to the problem of visually expressing and presenting their creative thoughts.

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.

Pinhole Photography
Pinhole cameras belong to a magical world of slowness, simplicity, and surprise, where creativity, imagination, and the unexpected replace fast-paced, expensive, complex technologies. Pinhole cameras have no lenses, shutters, or viewfinders. Using paint-can cameras, students work in a variety of settings indoors and outside.

This course utilizes the graphics processes of drypoint etching and block printing to create art prints. Drypoint etching involves making deep scratches into a plastic plate, which are then filled with ink. The print is created by placing the inked plate between a press and wet paper and applying substantial pressure. Block printing involves carving away part of a wood or rubber block and printing the remaining raised portion. The history of both of these printing processes and studies of relevant artists such as Rembrandt and M. C. Escher are ongoing themes throughout the course.

Screen Printing for Commercial Graphics
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 include both hand-cut and photographic methods.

Screen Printing: Warhols
This course utilizes the graphics process of screen printing. In screen printing, the principle involved is forcing ink through a stenciled screen that 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 ’60s pop artist Andy Warhol, who is considered to be the first artist to combine the areas of fine arts and graphics.

Studio Art and Portfolio Preparation
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 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.

This course acquaints 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
In this course students learn basic woodworking techniques, and power/hand tool use and safety while making a small box project. The project starts with a student-generated design idea, developed cooperatively with the teacher. As the design evolves, students learn about design aspects as well as how various woodworking techniques play an important role in the project’s development. Students 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. Pat Bock

Fine Arts Teacher

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Mr. Jeff Myra

Woodworking Teacher

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