Visual Art Courses

STUDIO ART I, II (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Studio Art I and II are semester-long courses that introduce students to a variety of fine art-making processes. Students develop conceptual and technical skills while studying drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media. Studio Art I and II are survey courses that teach an understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Studio work is supplemented with critiques, field trips to museums and local artist studios, as well as group public art projects.

 

STUDIO ART III, IV (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

These intermediate-level art courses expand upon each student’s understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Intermediate studio art courses encourage self-discovery though individual assignments based on each student’s unique interests and talents. Students continue to build their portfolios by examining their own strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis. Studio work is supplemented with critiques, field trips to museums and local artist studios, and group public art projects.

 

ADVANCED STUDIO ART V, VI (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Studio Art V and VI are advanced courses designed for the highly motivated artist. A commitment to independent work and a high level of technical competence are expected as students work with the instructor to build their breadth portfolios and develop a concentrated body of work with a theme and technique(s) of their own. Advanced studio art students may also seek recommendations to the Advanced Placement Studio Art program in Drawing/Painting, 2D Design, or 3D Design.

 

CERAMICS I, II (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Ceramics I and II introduce the student to the many aspects of clay work. Students explore texture, form, and function through a variety of hand-built techniques such as pinch, coil and slab. Students gain an understanding of the many stages of clay from plastic to leatherhard, bone-dry, bisqueware and glazeware. They explore a variety of glazing and finishing techniques used in electric kiln firing. In Ceramics II, students begin to explore throwing techniques on the wheel. With an eye toward ethnic, historic, and contemporary considerations, classroom assignments challenge the blossoming potter/sculptor to embrace creative thinking while developing basic skills.

 

CERAMICS III, IV (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

These intermediate-level courses allow time for the dedicated potter/sculptor to further develop and refine the skills begun in previous levels. These courses also provide an opportunity for students to take part in studio management through loading the kiln, pugging clay and making glaze test tiles. At this level, students begin developing more conceptual art, as well as refining their technique. The creative process is emphasized and expanded as each student risks failure to find success

 

ADVANCED CERAMICS V, VI (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Ceramics V and VI are advanced courses for the especially motivated artist. A commitment to independent work and a high level of technical competence are expected, as students work with the instructor to develop and complete a series of original projects. We encourage students at this level to begin developing a portfolio, if they’re interested in pursuing the AP 3-D Studio Art course.   Projects are very open-ended and demand a high degree of critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and time to succeed.

 

DIGITAL ART I, II (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Digital Art I introduces students to techniques for making fine art through technological processes. Digital cameras, scanners, stylus and tablets, and professional software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash are used to create both still and animated work. Student work is printed on large-format printers, including an Epson 9890 with a 44-inch span. The digital art curriculum is supplemented with exploratory lessons, field trips to museums and local design firms, and a graphic design competition. Digital Art II builds on the foundation gained at the beginning level. Students develop their portfolios while learning more advanced techniques.


DIGITAL ART III, IV (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Students continue to build upon their foundations in the elements of art and principles of design in Digital Art III and IV. Exploration and experimentation are emphasized through projects that encourage independent research and original concept development. Digital Art III and IV are also supplemented with critiques, field studies in digital photography, online investigations into the work of cutting edge digital artists, and field trips to museums and local design firms.

 

ADVANCED DIGITAL ART V, VI (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Digital Art V and VI are advanced courses for the dedicated artist. A commitment to independent work and a high level of technical competence are expected as students work with the instructor to complete their breadth portfolios and develop a concentrated body of work with a theme and technique(s) of their own. Advanced digital art students may also seek recommendations to the Advanced Placement Studio Art program in 2D Design. 



PHOTOGRAPHY I, II (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Photography I is an introduction to basic photography, exploring both digital and traditional darkroom techniques. Utilizing digital SLR cameras, iMac computers and Photoshop software, students explore basic camera operation, editing techniques and aesthetic concerns. Students are introduced to the darkroom through pinhole camera projects. In Photography II, students build upon their earlier introduction, exploring a variety of projects in both black & white and color. Digital and 35mm film cameras are provided to students during the course.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY III, IV (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

These intermediate-level courses explore representation and visual interpretation through black & white and color photography. Through a series of short-term assignments, students develop their photographic “eye” and build their portfolios of work. Coursework is supplemented with fieldtrips to museum and galleries, as well as on-site shooting trips. Cameras are provided, but students are strongly encouraged to own their own digital SLR camera.

 

ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY V, VI  (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

Photography V and VI are advanced courses for the dedicated photographer. Sophisticated techniques and thematic assignments are emphasized, and a commitment to independent work is expected. Students continue developing their unique artistic vision, with an eye toward enrolling in the Advanced Placement Studio Art program in photography. A digital SLR camera is required.

 

HISTORY OF ART (SEMESTER 1 and/or SEMESTER 2)

History of Art compares and contrasts different styles and movements of art through the centuries, from classical antiquities to modern art and the contemporary art scene. Rather than follow a traditional time line, the course jumps from century to century, making unusual and unexpected connections, and noticing that  wildly different approaches to great art nevertheless share important characteristics and influences.  Through discussion, research, and critical analysis, students reach a better understanding of how art has influenced and reflected our culture. The class incorporates numerous museum and gallery visits, as well as some “hands-on” art-making, to help students better understand different approaches and techniques.
Prerequisite: 2 semesters of visual or performing arts.

 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDIO ART I: DRAWING, 2-D Design, 3-D DESIGN

Advanced Placement Studio Art I is a yearlong course for committed students with a strong interest in developing as artists and creative thinkers. Students concentrate on either two-dimensional media (drawing, painting, printmaking, photography) or three-dimensional work (ceramics, sculpture), with the goal of preparing and submitting a strong final AP portfolio.

Recommended for Form V or VI
Prerequisite: Permission of the Department

 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDIO ART II: DRAWING, 2-D Design, 3-D DESIGN

Advanced Placement Studio Art II is a yearlong course for students who complete Advanced Placement Studio Art I in their fifth form year and wish to continue developing their skills for a second year of artistic growth. The dedicated art student can further explore and expand his or her portfolio with an eye towards majoring in art in college.

Prerequisite: Advanced Placement Studio Art I and permission of the Department

Berkshire School

245 North Undermountain Road
 |  Sheffield, MA 01257
 |  T: 413 229 8511

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