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Middle School Visual Arts Curriculum

The Middle School program continues to build on the knowledge gained in the Lower School studio through discussion about artists of the past and present and about the influence of time and place on their artistic expression. Students continue to build skills and begin to develop a personal aesthetic that drives their creative thinking and expression. A variety of 2-D and 3-D media continues to be explored.

Grades 5 & 6

In Grades 5 and 6, students meet twice weekly and their art experiences are many and varied. The coursework includes abstraction and realism, design and color, composition and construction. In Grade 5, in addition to drawing and painting, students work with pattern and arrangement of shapes, using media such as collage, pastel and clay to explore this area. In Grade 6, careful observation of the real world is one underlying theme through nature drawings and portraits using ink, pastel, collage, clay and other materials. In both grades, cross-curricular projects play an important role, such as English-binder-cover collages in Grade 5 and Biography Fair portraits in Grade 6.

Grades 7 & 8 Electives

List of 4 items.

  • 3D Art! Ceramics & Sculpture

    This course introduces students to basic three-dimensional principles of art. Students will work with an array of materials such as foam, clay, fiber and plaster. Visual language in relation to color, design and form are all part of the ongoing class conversation. Emphasis is placed on building an environment for students to explore their unique perspectives and ideas, talents and creative potential.
  • Engineering Design & Construction

    Engineering Design and Construction is a course for budding engineers. In the first half of the trimester, we will learn the basics of mechanical drawing (also known as drafting), using traditional drafting tools as well as computer-assisted drafting. In the second half of the trimester, we will embark on a challenging project to design and construct a working electric motor/electrical generator from everyday parts.  We will also construct and then draw a working model of a gasoline engine. This is a class for the mechanically minded and those who enjoy designing and building machines.
  • Exploring Arts

    This class is designed to introduce students to freehand drawing and exploration of drawing techniques. Through the development of observational skills and the study of line, value, form, and composition, students learn various techniques for producing effective representations. The emphasis throughout the class is on developing a working knowledge of a visual vocabulary that helps with making artistic decisions. Painting and other media are also explored. Art History is discussed to promote understanding of theory and technique.
  • Painting with Pastels

    Pastels are an ancient, time-honored painting medium (although pastels are really a form of chalk and not paint). Their softness and brilliance make for stunning "paintings" of almost any subject. In this class, students will improve basic drawing skills in portrait and figure drawing, still life, animals and landscapes, while learning to apply and blend pastel colors in a realistic and life-like manner. Some of the famous pastels by painters such as Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas provide students a good example of this style and genre.

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

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