The Middle School art curriculum emphasizes the education of
the art student’s imagination. Our
art faculty believes that the creative processes inherent in all artistic
endeavors have a positive influence in the development and stimulation of the
imagination.The artwork that
students produce is the result of each individual’s ability to think creatively,
to solve problems, and to evaluate.
Fifth grade students cover portraits, proportions of the human figure, still life paintings and landscapes. Students analyze the placement of our
features and create imaginary self-portraits with clay slabs and vibrant glazes
using a variety of clay techniques.
To learn about proportions of the human figure, students sketch various
poses from a student model, and make realistic figures with paper
mache, plaster and collage. Composition and foreshortening are
emphasized in the still life paintings the students create using black glue and
watercolor. Finally, students explore the work of Vincent Van Gogh
through books, computer research and video.
After studying Van Gogh’s fascinating techniques, the students
paint lush acrylic landscapes.
In sixth grade, students learn about the elements of design, color, shape, texture and positive and negative spaces. The use of color is explored when the sixth graders
study Henri Matisse’s Fauve paintings and paint their own large, expressive
self-portraits. After studying Picasso’s “Cubist” period,
the students construct three-dimensional clay portraits which they decorate
with vibrant glazes. Students learn about texture by exploring a variety of materials as they create still life collages. Students design various collagraph
ink prints to manipulate the viewer’s perception of positive and negative
In seventh grade, the student projects are derived from a
variety of artistic styles. The
students explore these styles and the artists who invented them in depth. Cubism is explored through analyzing
Picasso’s various styles and students then create interesting pastel “cubist”
self-portraits. Pop Art is
explored through examining the work of Claus Oldenberg and Andy Warhol. Students create large “Pop” sculptures
using paper mache, cardboard, and chicken wire. The modern sculptures of Frank Stella and Alexander Calder
are used as references for clay and Styrofoam works. Complementary colors are reviewed and used when students
work on their acrylic and tempera still life paintings.
Eighth grade students study all the art styles from
impressionism to the present.
Advanced drawing, painting and 3D skills are introduced. Students use Adobe Photoshop and
digital photography in their projects.
By the end of eighth grade, the students have completed several in-depth
works such as: large mixed media gridded self portraits, charcoal drawings,
clay busts and abstract 3D sculptures.