The role of the Saint Andrew’s visual arts program is to give students artistic possibilities and to provide them with a nurturing place to make imaginative choices. Art making is about challenging oneself to create without fear of the outcome. It is about learning through process how to confidently make creative decisions. These skills are vital in the world we live in today and must play an integral role in education.
As early as Pre-Kindergarten, students are introduced to the elements of art and are exposed to great artists to instill an appreciation of art. They are encouraged to try new things and to express themselves and their ideas through their creations. Throughout their time in Lower School, students learn about technique, color theory and color mixing. They also learn to think about light and shading and tinting in their works. As their fine motor skills and creative confidence develop, the media with which they work and their ability to manipulate it expands as well.
During the Middle School years, students reflect on a theme for their projects.
Sixth graders study the concept of “place,” with projects based on personal and community space. They create architectural design projects, multi-colored linoleum prints, clay boxes, photo and paint collages, and multi-layered surrealist-style paintings of their bedrooms, focusing on the expressional quality of painting, form and color theory.
Seventh graders study the concept of “self,” with projects that explore and transform the traditional concept of the self-portrait. Students also create life-sized busts of their heads; multi-colored screen printed t-shirts using an original symbol that represents them; pinhole cameras, with which they shoot and print self-portraits; and narrative wooden boxes.
During their final year at Saint Andrew's, students create thematic, collaborative art installations in small groups, then participate in an “artist reception” and artist talks. They learn to use a printing press and the intaglio process. Students also work with clay and acrylics during the year. In May, students assemble a collection of their works to display in a gallery setting during the annual Spring Open House.