Being a visual art student means practicing skills, trying different media, and understanding the creative process. This step-by-step process helps students not only create artworks but also helps them in the rest of their studies. With the creative process, students must understand the assignment, brainstorm on possible solutions, identify the best one (not the only one), practice the skills, experiment with the media, and finally create an artwork that satisfies the assignment. MacDuffie supplies all of the materials and tools that the students need. Students meet in an informal setting with large worktables. Each student has individual storage containers for their artwork, art tools, and supplies. Student work is displayed in the room and various spaces on campus. There is also an online art gallery showcasing the students’ artworks.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM
At the middle school level, the major focus is on students understanding and using the creative process. Students do practice exercises, group work, major projects, and some written work. Each middle school grade works on basic art skills, drawing skills, color theory, and “how to look good on paper”.
In addition, the sixth graders work on cartooning, drawing animals, and basics of architecture. The seventh graders briefly review the sixth-grade program, then study human proportions, painting, and study floor plans. The Eighth Graders work on a series of projects for their end of the year art show, “The Journey”. They create two self-portraits – their current self and the second one 30 years into the future. The third project of “The Journey” is a road map to help them reach their goals. They present their artworks at the Rite of Passage, their graduation ceremony, at the end of the year.
UPPER SCHOOL PROGRAM
MacDuffie Students electing to study Visual Arts, choose from twenty-four different semester courses. The students work towards mastery in the same two major areas: technique and composition. Students may continue their study in any of the courses. In these advanced level courses, the projects and techniques are more in-depth. Each course has six major projects. There are also six minor projects related to general art skills and theme for that school year. Some past themes were “Around the World with Art”, “Time & Motion”, and “Paradise Is”.
As an example of how the student choice works in the Visual Art Program, during one visual art block this year with fourteen students; four students are studying Color Pencil and two students are studying photography. The remaining eight students have each chosen a different course: Drawing, Drawing II, Sculpture, Sculpture II, Pencil IV, Architecture II, Painting, and Senior Art.
UPPER SCHOOL VISUAL ART SEMESTER COURSES
Applied Art History