Visual Arts students work side-by-side with established artists and academics on pre-professional portfolios, AP Art History and intensive Honors-level studio classes in preparation for higher education and ultimately careers in the arts. Additional guided courses in career research and portfolio development along with exhibition opportunities in the school's Lipscomb Gallery further augment the student experience and provide valuable skills for future practice.

Junior Level Courses - Semester I

Honors Junior 2-D Design

This course is based in abstract problem-solving assignments that establish, define, and articulate the two-dimensional visual language essential to all visual arts disciplines. Elements, including line, shape, value, and texture, as well as principles such as balance, contrast, surface organization (focus, rhythm, etc.) will be explored as students develop strategies and processes in addressing design. Assorted wet and dry media and a variety of mark-making techniques will be utilized. This course works in conjunction with 3-D Design, Introduction to Graphic Design, Motion Design I, Observational Drawing, and Visual Language to create the core of the first Foundation semester. Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Junior 3-D Design

Using materials such as wire, cardboard, clay, plaster, and wood, this course introduces the vocabulary and techniques of working three-dimensionally. Physical and tactile aspects of form and space will be investigated, and the concepts of linear and planar relationships, volume, mass, and scale will be explored with potential applications to sculpture, architecture, etc. This course works in conjunction with 2-D Design, Introduction to Graphic Design, Motion Design I, Observational Drawing, and Visual Language to create the core of the first Foundation semester. Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Junior Observational Drawing

This drawing course will introduce the student to the tools necessary for strong compositional structure. Investigating line, perspective, and value, classes will integrate foundation elements covered in 2-D and 3-D Design with drawing projects executed from direct observation. Scale, proportion, and spatial relationships will also be explored. This course works in conjunction with 2-D Design, 3-D Design, Introduction to Graphic Design, Motion Design I, and Visual Language to create the core of the first Foundation semester. Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Junior Introduction to Graphic Design

Graphic design as a form of visual communication will be introduced through topics including process, typography and letterform, print and package design, and web and app design. Students will practice conceptual exploration, creative development, and presentation skills as they apply design principles through the use of the computer and industry-specific design software as tools for artistic execution, production, and professional presentation. A brief history of graphic design and influential designers of the 20th century will also be covered. This course works in conjunction with 2-D Design, 3-D Design, Motion Design I, Observational Drawing, and Visual Language to create the core of the first Foundation semester. Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques and presentations, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Junior Motion Design I

This course is a simple introduction to the concept of sequence- and time-based imagery with a focus on motion as a design element. Classes will build familiarity with some of the foundations of traditional animation including onion-skinning, moving holds, and exposure sheets, while also providing an introduction to Dragonframe and additional software environments, systems, and digital practices. This course works in conjunction with 2-D Design, 3-D Design, Introduction to Graphic Design, Observational Drawing, and Visual Language to create the core of the first Foundation semester. Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, action analyses, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Visual Language: Aesthetics and Theory

This course extends the understanding of principles and elements of visual art while developing the use of formal artistic language in discussion and presentation. Classes will explore and analyze a variety of works through readings and assignments and will also provide for discussions and presentations on related art and art-historical topics. Students will apply the language and analytical techniques learned to their own work and prepare for formal presentation at semester review. This course works in conjunction with 2-D Design, 3-D Design, Introduction to Graphic Design, Motion Design I, and Observational Drawing to create the core of the first Foundation semester. Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, participation in discussions and analyses, presentations, and graded assignments.

 

Junior Level Courses - Semester II

Honors Junior Painting and Color Theory

This course will introduce the student to the concepts, materials, and techniques of painting in acrylic with assignments directed toward a systematic study of color and its interactions while students learn strategies, systems, and sequences in solving structured painting problems in a variety of formats. Thumbnail sketches and preliminary studies will be emphasized as part of the painting process as students complete perceptual assignments on subject matter including the still life, the landscape, and the cityscape.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the spring semester jury.

Honors Junior Sculpture

This course will investigate approaches to the sculptural process while developing a vocabulary for the articulation of sculptural elements. Basic techniques will be explored in an iterative process as students apply 3-D design principles to representational and abstracted projects executed in various media. The tradition of the figure will be used as a foundation for the understanding of form while reinforcing ideas shared with the Junior Life Drawing course.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the spring semester jury.

Honors Junior Motion Design II

The second semester of motion design applies the foundation and techniques of Motion Design I in creating believable and expressive movement. Timing/tempo and spacing will remain a continued focus in course content as students integrate fundamental 2-D and 3-D design concepts into temporally-focused and/or motion-based projects. Exercises may be accompanied by screenings, oral presentations, and/or written analyses of film or media.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, action analyses, graded assignments/portfolio, and the spring semester jury.

Honors 2-D Studio: Photography and Printmaking

2-D Studio extends the skills and abstract thinking acquired in first-semester courses through studio intensives in the disciplines of photography and printmaking. Photography students will gain fluency with photographic materials and basic darkroom techniques; printmaking students will explore methods of relief printmaking and etching. Each studio unit will be nine weeks long. Intensive investigation in either area can be pursued in a subsequent senior elective.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the spring semester jury.

Honors 3-D Studio: Ceramics and Metals

3-D Studio introduces the student to the areas of ceramics and metals, integrating the visual language acquired in first-semester design courses in individual material practices. Ceramics will expose students to various forming, surfacing, and firing techniques; Metals will engage in the design, tools, and techniques of metalworking. Intensive investigation in either area can be pursued in a subsequent senior elective.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the spring semester jury.

Honors Junior Life Drawing

This course builds upon Observational Drawing and focuses on the continued development of drawing skills through drawing from the model. Anatomy and proportional relationships will be emphasized as students continue work in dry and wet media in studies, sketches, and extended projects.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the spring semester jury.

Career Preparation

This course, through guest artists, media lectures, and guided sessions, introduces students to the methods and resources of researching career paths and higher educational opportunities. Relevant topics such as applications, financial aid, resumes and curricula vitae, and scholarship opportunities are also extensively addressed as students learn professional practices in digitally documenting their own work. The research and skills gained in Career Preparation will serve as the basis for continued development in Portfolio Preparation during the following semester.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, evaluation of quality and amount of research in careers and educational opportunities, appropriate documentation of work, and the preparation of a resume and work images.

 

Senior Level Courses - Semester III

Honors Senior Animation, Senior Painting, or Senior Sculpture

Animation: Senior Animation provides the opportunity to explore a deeper understanding of weight, balance, anticipation, and follow-through by introducing hinged puppets and jointed figures. Using 2-D and 3-D assets, students will create simple narratives to communicate a concept. Emphasis will remain on moving elements while introducing additional techniques such as color correction, keying, and compositing.

Painting: Senior Painting elaborates on the concepts and skills addressed in Junior Painting. The still life, the landscape, and the figure will serve as primary subject matter as students continue to expand their painting vocabulary in oil and other media. This course will also emphasize the study of work by contemporary and historical painters with attention to research and technique.

Sculpture: Senior Sculpture capitalizes on the techniques of Junior Sculpture with deeper investigation into sculptural issues of content, analysis, conceptual development, and the physical manifestation of the three-dimensional art object. Projects and course content will be related to both traditional and contemporary sculpture alongside greater exploration of its context, place, and relevance in contemporary culture.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Senior Life Drawing

This advanced drawing course builds upon the junior year drawing courses with a continued emphasis on drawing from direct observation. Projects and assignments in wet, dry, and mixed media will continue to engage and examine the critical role of drawing in visual thinking as students visually explore spatial and conceptual relationships.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Senior 2-D Studio Elective (Fall)

The 2-D Elective allows for more advanced study of one of the 2-D introductions offered in the junior year. One of the following three areas of study may be selected:

Graphic Design: The continued use of design principles and further development of design research, process, and presentation skills will be applied through a focus on identity design and branding. Greater familiarity with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign will accompany the crafting of printed materials and brand expressions.

Printmaking: Intaglio and relief printmaking techniques will be revisited and expanded upon in this extension of Junior Printmaking Studio. Typesetting and the use of a Vandercook proofing press will also be covered.

Photography: Both the 35 mm camera and digital camera will be used as students are introduced to camera operation, film exposure, and black-and-white darkroom processes to further personal exploration in the medium. Photographic principles and history will also be covered.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Honors Senior 3-D Studio Elective (Fall)

Techniques and concepts encountered in 3-D Design and Studios will be elaborated upon and expanded. One of the following three areas of study may be selected:

Architecture: The process of developing, communicating, and applying 3-D design ideas for functional buildings/objects will be explored in this course. Visual and verbal presentation of architectural ideas in drawing, design, and 3-D prototype model projects will be supported by guest professional visits. This course is only available in the fall semester.

Ceramics: Further exploration in handbuilding, surface decoration, and firing methods will be accompanied by an introduction to the potter’s wheel in Senior Ceramics. Additional techniques such as slip-casting and press-molding may be introduced as students expand their expressive and technical vocabulary in clay.

Metals: A variety of fabrication and casting techniques will be explored in jewelry and metalworking projects geared to formal language and personal expression.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the fall semester jury.

Portfolio Preparation & Themes of Contemporary Art

Portfolio Preparation advances the skills and research established in Career Preparation with a focus on the artist portfolio and undergraduate application. Students will receive continued instruction in art preparation, formal self-presentation, and digital documentation with resulting images and materials providing a foundation for other future opportunities. Students will also be introduced to contemporary art themes through readings and discussion. College presentations and accompanying portfolio reviews will also occur as permitted by schedule.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance in class, National Portfolio Day, and related events; completion of readings and associated assignments/discussions; high-quality documentation of work; updated professional documents; college application or the equivalent thereof; and the fall semester jury.

 

Senior Level Courses - Semester IV

Honors Senior Concentration

This course engages students in an advanced area of focused study with the creation of a personal body of conceptual work. Emphasis will be placed on the considered development of technical and aesthetic awareness in the work while supported by research, references, and writings accomplished in the Senior Research Methods for the Artist course. Faculty mentors assigned according to studio will inform both of these processes and provide guidance in the student-driven progression and execution of the work. Concentrations may be conducted in one of animation, architecture, art history, ceramics, drawing, film, graphic design, illustration, industrial/3-D design, metals/jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, or another faculty-approved area.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, individual and group critiques, periodic review of research and studio work, concentration proposals and presentation, and the final semester jury.

Honors Senior 2-D/3-D Studio Elective (Spring)

This course will present an opportunity of continued study in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional art form. Students may select one studio from ceramics, printmaking, graphic design, metals, or photography, with the exclusion of any studio electives already taken in the fall semester of senior year. (Refer to the descriptions above.)

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the final semester jury.

Honors Senior Drawing

Building upon the skills, concepts, and techniques from the previous semesters, this advanced drawing course continues development and refinement of observational drawing skills with an emphasis on the figure and topics relating to portraiture. Projects, class critiques, and group discussion will all encourage greater consideration of the experience of drawing and its critical role in visual thinking.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, graded assignments/portfolio, and the final semester jury.

Honors Senior Research Methods for the Artist

Research Methods for the Artist supports the work of Senior Concentration through a semester-long course dedicated to research, writing, and revision. Students will be introduced to new research methods with the goal of greater exploration, awareness, and understanding of their selected area while also learning to present the results of this cumulative process in both discussion and formal written language. A paper complete with an annotated bibliography will be the result of the semester’s work to be provided with the body of work accomplished in Senior Concentration.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance and periodic review of research progress and written materials.

Bronze Casting

Bronze Casting provides students with an introduction to the processes of working with cast bronze. Techniques including basic wax working, spruing and venting, and ceramic shell investing will be covered through the creation of a relief tile and 3-D form. Students intending to take this course must submit a request to the instructor.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in studio work and discussion, group critiques, and graded assignments/portfolio.

Advanced Placement Art History

Open to non-art students with permission of instructor This course is designed to provide students with the equivalent of a college introductory course to Art History. This course will focus on an overview of Global art, beginning with ancient civilizations up to today. The course will engage the art of western and non-western cultures focusing on the form, function, content, and context of 250 western and non-western artworks. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP exam.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in discussion, written assignments, quizzes, essays, and exams.

 

Honors Art History

Open to non-art students with permission of instructor. This course is designed to provide students with the equivalent of a college introductory course to Art History. This course will focus on an overview of Global art, beginning with ancient civilizations up to today. The course will engage the art of western and non-western cultures focusing on the form, function, content, and context of 250 western and non-western artworks.

Assessment and performance criteria will include attendance, student participation in discussion, written assignments, quizzes, essays, and exams.

For a complete listing of Governor's School courses, view the 2018-19 Course Selection Guide.