Visual and Performing Arts

Art I

At the first level, emphasis is placed on building a visual vocabulary using the elements of art and principles of design.  Through thorough understanding of these concepts students will learn how to effectively communicate their ideas to an audience.  They will learn to formally analyze, interpret, and place value on their work and the art in the world around them.  At the first level, technical skills are introduced and practiced until there is fluency.  Students will explore a variety of media and technique.  These will include but not be limited to drawing, painting, printmaking, pottery, sculpture, and both 2D and 3D design.

Connection to art history and art in the world around us are made at every opportunity.  Informal critique between teacher and student and student and student is a constant aspect of the studio process.  This allows the opportunity to learn not only from their work but to look deeply into the effort of classmates.  All students develop the ability to critically examine the visual world and to articulate their findings.

Art II

Within each course curriculum, the tasks placed before the students progress from simple to complex and from tightly structured exercises to individualized expressive works.  Much emphasis will be placed on design and composition learned in Art I.  Technical skills will be honed with increased attention to using these skills to promote self expression.  Students will establish reflective qualities needed to evaluate and discuss artwork.  Some materials will include but not be limited to large scale charcoal drawings, acrylic and/or oil paintings, computer design, and clay as both a functional and sculptural media.  For students pursuing a career in art, this will be an opportunity for building the portfolio necessary for college admission.

Digital Arts

This course will introduce students to contemporary media as an extension of the creative process. The course is a hand-on studio survey of visual communications: aesthetics, art criticism, art history, art-making, and self-expression combining digital photography with computer graphics.

Topics will include: digital photography-the 35mm camera, capturing images, correction and manipulation through PhotoShop, creating digital files and printing. Computer graphics-how to use text, color, and images together for product design and self-expressive pieces. Students will also investigate how technology affects art and society and compare traditional art with contemporary art.


Design is a beginner level class that will introduce students to 2D and 3D design.  Students will learn about commercially-based art careers including architecture, interior design, automobile design, toy design, and graphic design, typography, and fashion design.  Students will work both in the fine arts studio and the Mac lab, utilizing a wide variety of resources.  There will be an emphasis on a high level of craftsmanship, creativity, marketability, and the importance of meeting a deadline.  Each student will create a portfolio of work and have the opportunity to take a field trip to learn about the work of local professional designers.

Advanced Placement Art

Advanced Placement Art is a studio art course that enables highly motivated students to do college level work while still in high school.  Success in the course is not based on a written examination.  Instead, students submit a portfolio of work for evaluation at the end of the school year.  Advanced Placement Art involves more time and commitment than many high school courses.  Students are given quarterly assignments that they work on independently; critiques are held at the end of each quarter.  In addition, students are required to keep a journal of artist and artworks that are intended to assist them in writing their thesis statement at the end of the course. The AP program is intended for students seriously committed to studio art.


This junior/senior elective challenges students to develop dramatic expression in a workshop-style, performance-oriented class.  It also involves intensive original play writing as well as immersion in the performance of Shakespeare.  Student participation in class, school, and community theater events is required.


Chorus is a performing arts class offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  While a background in music is helpful, it is not critical.  Emphasis in this course is placed on healthy vocal production, diction, basic theory, music reading skills, musical terminology, and foreign languages.  Students are required to perform in venues that may include concerts, services in church, school services, and other school events.


This class, a sophomore/junior/senior elective, is responsible for producing The Magnificat.  Students will learn various skills including producing journalistically correct copy and editing copy using correct grammar.  Students will be trained in the use of the digital camera.  Students electing the class must be able to plan, organize, follow directions, and meet deadlines.

This class also produces the online student newspaper, The Trumpet.

Exploratory Cycle

All grade 9 students will be introduced to art and chorus in the required Exploratory Cycle.