Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders explore visual arts in the Middle School Arts Program, where they gain an understanding of design concepts and technical skills by working with new materials, learning various techniques, and delving into art history. Along with sketchbook assignments, students create drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures using imagery that reflects and enhances the “big picture” ideas discussed across the Middle School curriculum. Students also participate in written and group critiques to build and strengthen their Harkness skills.
Upper School students take an in-depth look at major foundations of art such as historical context, elements of design, and creative risk-taking. They work in sketchbooks, design and execute both 2D and 3D compositions, and participate in written and group critiques as part of their formal assessments. By touching on many time periods and cultures, students come to understand different movements in art and the ideas that influenced these movements. Visual arts deepen the inquiry into overarching questions discussed across the Upper School curriculum while challenging students to discover more about themselves as creative beings and problem-solvers.
Studio artists can pursue rigorous learning through the AP level in both Drawing and Art History. Both digital and studio art students compete for spots in a variety of juried shows each year, including the Youth Art Month exhibit, the Congressional Art Competition, the San Diego Museum of Art Show, and the Museum of Photographic Arts Youth Exhibition.
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Studio art classes at Pacific Ridge School encourage the development of artistic sensibilities through a number of different mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics.