The Visual Arts Department celebrates the creative spirit, instilling in students essential skills in developing intellectual seeing. The Department strives to expand students’ abilities to distinguish and appreciate the arts as a historical reflection of humankind’s advancements, values and cultures. It is crucial to recognize and understand the creative endeavors and achievements of other artists and art forms, and be able to explain why an artwork is vital as an expressive effort. In building confidence in their intellectual, technical and creative abilities, students discover greater insight in viewing and analyzing the world around them.
The goals of the Department are designed to compel students to think in a creative manner while expanding their range of experience. Courses include instruction in studio media, methods, theory, art history and appreciation. The Visual Arts easily relate to all other academic areas. While science, math, and history supply the facts; the arts supply the reaction and interpretation. Through intellectual awareness of the Visual Arts, students have a more complete understanding of the human soul and condition.
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
- To develop students’ appreciation and understanding of the Visual Arts.
Students are lead into the realm of creative expression by exploring and expanding awareness of their artistic potential and the artistic accomplishments of others. Understanding that art is intentional, not accidental, is crucial to the study of the creative process. Exploring creativity as a solely human endeavor helps one to recognize why a work of art is vital as an expressive effort.
- To develop students’ aesthetic sensibilities.
Response to an artwork is based on personal and intellectual experience. Understanding the aesthetic properties, allows students to develop informed perceptions.
Sensory Properties: ways the artist uses the elements of design - line, shape, space, value, texture, color and form, stimulating the senses of sight and touch.
Formal Properties: ways the artist uses the principles of design to organize the elements of design making all parts of the composition work together.
Technical Properties: ways the artist uses media, tools and techniques in the creation of an artwork.
Expressive Properties: qualities that create an emotional response from the viewer. Ideas of social criticism, religion, moods of tension, relaxation, and sadness are created through color, metaphor, symbolism or design.
- To expose students to the history of art.
As with the study of literature, history, science and math, the study of art instills an understanding of the world, both past and present. If seen as a reflection of the ideas and events of the time, art proves invaluable as a window to the past. Awareness of the cultural, political, and social climate of the period gives insight to the motivation of the artist. Understanding the elements and principles of design, and compositional properties expands the ability to draw conclusions about an artwork. Without background knowledge, one cannot expect to successfully comprehend why an artwork is considered great.
- To cultivate students’ creative abilities and instill respect for the creative abilities of others.
Practice and mastery of technique, media, and concept are vital in developing skills that allow one to design creative modes of expression. Through close observation, knowledge is gained allowing the formation of acute perceptions of the surrounding world, thus giving the artist insight into the relationships of parts to the whole, both spatially and metaphysically. Armed with skill and experience, one can truly examine ways to use the imagination in the exploration of ideas and in the formation of unique expressions and creative interpretations.
- To develop in students a disciplined work ethic and foster independence in the exploration of media, technique and concept.
Success in any endeavor is evidenced by self-motivation and independence. Primed with basic knowledge and skill students design individual paths of exploration as they work to discover solutions to the problems encountered in their assignments.
- To inspire students to actively participate in the learning process.
The very nature of the Visual Arts curriculum necessitates active participation by all students. Lessons are designed to instill knowledge through experience. Creating art causes the development of observational and perceptual skills while leading the artist to analyze surroundings and situations with greater understanding.