Visual arts at MVS takes root at the Early Childhood School, where we first begin the strong emphasis on creation, discovery, and learning through art.
Our students learn from the best. Each of our highly esteemed visual arts faculty have an MFA and are professional artists with their own portfolio of gallery-showcased artwork. With this kind of expertise, our students are able to become fully immersed in even the more particular arts studies, like furniture making, print making and even contemporary painting.
Engaging our students in different media, from clay to charcoal—even at the earliest of ages, gives them a variety of ways to conceptualize their ideas and discover their passions.
At MVS, the art studio is a place to invent, imagine, and cultivate curiosity. It’s where students become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and artists.
In grades K through 2, students are in the studio nearly two times each week (depending on the color block schedule). They explore different material and techniques working both individually and collaboratively. Students become artists, expressing their ideas from memory, observation and imagination. Inspired by art history, books, and classroom curricula, key elements of design are discussed and used throughout the year.
Third grade students attend art every day for a week, followed by a week off (when they concentrate on social studies). This alternation continues throughout the year. A week of back-to-back studio days gives students the opportunity to delve deeper into art projects, expanding the scope of the project. Many art pieces reflect student interests or classroom curricula.
Students in grades 4 and 5 immerse themselves in more sophisticated techniques or new processes. Students experiment, find their own style, and learn how to use time wisely to resolve and refine their work. Drawing, painting, and sculpture are the core media each year and, depending on the class, printmaking, photography, and installation art may emerge.
Middle school students in grades 6, 7, and 8 have visual art class everyday for 40 minutes for one semester. This gives our student-artists the opportunity to explore a wide variety of techniques and media, while developing their artistic eye, technical skill, and patience. Some projects are purely “art for art’s sake,” while others are designed to help foster a deeper understanding of a culture or investigate an art master of the past. Students are strongly encouraged to take creative risks in an environment where mistakes often lead to discovery. Many projects include a fairly lengthy time span, allowing the student artist to fully resolve their work. Individual and group critiques are structured to provide feedback to the students and in turn, help them communicate ideas successfully.
- Design Foundations
- Furniture is Art
- Art History from the Studio Perspective
- Sound Sculpture
- Contemporary Painting
Students explore a variety of materials and processes, analyzing and engaging with their surrounding environment. Many techniques are demonstrated and practiced, framed by art history, contemporary works, and the elements and principles of design. Students begin to understand and articulate—verbally and visually—how composition, subject, material, mark, orientation and craftsmanship work together, realizing that small differences can have a large effect.
Students investigate the making and finishing processes of both functional and sculptural ceramic objects throughout this introductory course. Many methods of building with clay are discussed, demonstrated and practiced to create works that use clay as the primary medium. Finished works will be self-evaluated and critiqued, considering art history and contemporary practice, process, and craftsmanship.
Printmaking is the process of applying ink to a form or printing plate to create an impression. This beginning course investigates unusual and standard printing techniques. Students learn the various tools of the printmaker and have the opportunity to explore many different processes, including block printing, etching, collagraph, and serigraph (silkscreen).
This course is part design and part construction techniques, as students create their own piece of functional furniture. Work may be constructed from a wide range of materials, including but not limited to, various woods, plastics, and non ferrous metals. Students gain inspiration from contemporary furniture makers, and the class also includes a field trip to a local contemporary furniture collection.
In this hands-on art history class, students are inspired by the art masters of the distant and recent past, and then interpret the work in their own way. This proves to be a very experimental and interactive course, as the students explore, research, and execute new techniques and are influenced by challenging ideas. A sampling of drawing, painting, sculpture, and even installation and media art may be covered.
This drawing course is geared for not only the student who wants to draw more realistically, but also the one looking for a creative outlet. Students explore traditional and non-traditional drawing techniques and become aware of line quality, shading, modeling, contrast, perspective, negative space and proportions.
Sound sculpture is merely art that makes noise. This is a perfect chance for the musician to immerse himself/herself in the sculpture studio, or for the visual artist to get in touch with his/her musical side. Depending on the students’ ideas, they will explore different sculpture and sound making processes in a collaborative or individual fashion, using a very wide range of tools and techniques.
This course is an exploration of various acrylic painting techniques. Students investigate work from 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century painters to gain knowledge of the history of contemporary art. They may work in collaboration on large works or independently. Students enhance their knowledge of the principals of design while finding their own personal vision. Creativity is fostered and celebrated!
Graffiti is currently a world-wide art movement. In this class students have the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the purpose of graffiti. They learn various graffiti techniques, including cutting stencils and becoming proficient with the airbrush. Past classes have made graffiti ceiling tiles, t-shirts, shoes, and auto magnets, just to name a few.
Mosaics is the art of adhering small bits of ceramic tile or glass to a panel or object. Students will have the opportunity to create both abstract pattern and realistic (figurative) mosaics. They learn to cut the tiles and also grout the final work. It is possible for students to work both two- and three-dimensionally.