Visual Arts

Course Descriptions

Click a Course's Title to read its description:


Students draw from observation using elementary forms. Once the student has mastered problems of structure, form, and perspective, emphasis is placed on tonal variation and composition. Charcoal, conte, and pencil are the primary media used.


This course familiarizes students with composition on a flat surface. Students learn to organize the art elements by focusing on one design principle at a time. A variety of media and techniques are explored, and craftsmanship and presentation are strongly emphasized.


Students learn the basic materials, tools, and vocabulary of ceramics. Technical training includes hand building with coil, slab, and potters wheel. Functional, decorative, and expressive possibilities of clay are explored. A working knowledge of the kiln is acquired.


This course familiarizes first year students with a variety of art concerns and issues including materials, techniques, the elements of art, and principles of design. Vocabulary for communicating artistic expression clearly is emphasized. Ways of approaching, appreciating, and evaluating the works of others are among the topics covered. Textbook: “The Visual Experience” Hobbs & Salome.


This course builds upon the skills acquired in Drawing I while centering on the human figure as subject matter. Through the use of live models, problems of anatomy, proportion, and form are explored. Drawing proficiency is achieved through gesture drawings and sustained rendering in a variety of media.


This course teaches second-year students to adapt two-dimensional design principles to three-dimensional concepts. Students explore structural and technical aspects of working with relief, freestanding, and modular design.


This course instructs students in the fundamental techniques of printmaking. Collagraphy, monoprinting, and intaglio processes ( engraving and etching ) are covered. The relationship of printmaking to other art forms is also considered.


This course teaches students the fundamentals of oil painting through still life subjects. Students learn the use of basic materials, tools, procedures, and techniques. Surface preparation, paint application, composition, and color choice are among the skills emphasized.


Students study the development of Western art from prehistory to the Renaissance through slides lectures and discussions. The relationship between art and society is explored. Vocabulary, museum visits, and research papers are all important parts of this course. Textbook: “History of Art for Young People” Janson & Cauman.


This course further develops student's skills in working directly from the model. Imagination and perceptual skills are emphasized.


Students continue to further develop observational skills working from life. Mold making, casting, carving, and fabrication are explored. Students learn the use and care of hand and power tools while working in a variety of materials and techniques.


This course is designed to teach the basic techniques of the camera and the darkroom. Students are given assignments dealing with composition, subject matter, use of light, and development of a point of view. Technical aspects of film processing are taught.


Students combine photographic images with basic photoshop programs. Experimentation and imagination are emphasized.


Students study the development of Western art from the Renaissance to the present through slide lectures, reading assignments, and museum visits. The relationship between art and society is explored. Non-western influences, such as Asian, African, and Native American art, are introduced. Students who complete this course successfully are eligible to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Art History. Textbook: “Art Through the Ages” Gardner.


This course combines two-dimensional and three-dimensional media and processes using collage and assemblage as reference points. Students are assigned projects that encourage experimentation and the creation of highly inventive, personalized statements.


Students learn the traditional methods of carving wood, as well as construction and welding techniques. Personal expression is nurtured through exercises in various media.


This course acquaints students with more advanced techniques and intaglio. Students produce a portfolio of variations and editions. The class continues to explore the relationship between printmaking and other art forms.


Building on the skills and disciplines developed in Ceramics I, students increase their understanding of ceramics through experimentation with the medium. An independent project provides an opportunity for students to pursue an area of personal interest or expression.


Students continue to work in oil, but are encouraged to work more expressively, abstractly or symbolically and to develop a personal style and means of expression


Having developed a working knowledge of darkroom techniques, materials, and processes, students are instructed in the methods of creating strong visual statements. Advanced darkroom procedures are taught, as well as more advanced concepts dealing with imagery.


Using the human figure as the subject, students develop more advanced oil painting techniques. As proficiency improves, expressive and stylistic concerns are emphasized.



Support BSA. Click Here To Donate.
"I had never been in a place, let alone a high school, where everyone is like a big group of friends that support each other day by day as they expand their artistic and academic capabilities."
Robert Mantegna
Robert Mantegna, Theatre Production

Featured GALLERY