At Garrison Forest School, the Visual Arts ignite the creative spark within each student, emphasize the value of the creative process, and celebrate the students' artistic achievements. Fundamental to the human experience, the Visual Arts give expression and meaning to what is seen, felt, learned, imagined, as well as what is unseen, unfamiliar, and unknown.
Beginning in Preschool and Lower School, art students develop:
- Visual-thinking strategies
- Technical and problem-solving skills
- Perspectives of historical contexts
- Interdisciplinary connections
- Aesthetic judgments
- Personal languages and imagination
During each school day, students have ample opportunity to paint, draw, and create crafts that tie into the curriculum. In addition, Pre-Kindergarten classes have art experiences in the Lower School art studio once a week to explore new materials, processes, and to be introduced to important studio habits. In the spring families come together for an Art Night to appreciate the visual arts hung in the preschool and to interact with hands-on art activities
Hands-on, creative expression is an essential component of all Lower Division classrooms. Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students have weekly Art classes in a large, modern studio with a kiln for pottery and sculpture. Emphasizing the creative process, the Lower Division Visual Arts curriculum focuses on the elements of art (line, color, space, texture, and volume) and an appreciation for the art of other cultures and traditions. Students enjoy open-ended artistic experiences working with collage, sculpture, paint, textiles, video, printmaking, ceramics, mosaics, woodworking, and mixed media. For Kindergarten through Five, the year culminates in an Art Show where work by each student is exhibited.
The Middle School Visual Arts curriculum provides opportunities for students to refine their artistic skills through a variety of 2-D and 3-D media and techniques, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpting. Students develop a cumulative understanding of the elements and principles of design as they move from Sixth through Eighth Grade and leave the Middle School with a stronger ability to craft, persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, explore, and understand art and their community. Optional art electives provide students choices to explore more art concepts and specific processes.
Upper School students explore a range of art disciplines. They may choose to concentrate in a particular area or medium and to prepare an Advanced Placement Portfolio. Art Foundations:Design Lab, required in Grade Nine, combines digital art making with hands-on projects, stresses experimentation with a variety of concepts and materials, and provides a foundation for numerous arts electives:
- Drawing Portfolio
- Oil Painting
- Painting Portfolio
- Photo I: Wet Lab
- Photo II: Wet Lab and Digital Darkroom
- Digital Imaging
- Color Theory
- Art & Ideas
- Digital Portfolio
- 3D Portfolio
- AP Art History
Because classroom experiences often produce artists who seek to expand their arts learning and applications, the Visual Arts program provides many opportunities for enrichment with Creative Co-op workshops, exhibition and guest artists, museum visits, and possibilities for specialization with Independent Senior Projects. Upper School students combine their Visual Arts' interests and talents with participation in teen councils, Da Vinci Club, service for community organizations and exhibition in local and national competitions.