Visual Art—Overview (US)


Grade 9: 1 credit in visual art or performing arts; Grades 10–12: 1 additional credit in visual art, performing arts, or tech/computer science (Exception: Double-language students satisfy their two credits during grades 10–12, 1 credit must be in the arts, the other may be in the arts or tech/computer science.)

Chair: Cynthia Hutnyan

Our goal is to create visually literate students who understand the role of the artist in society. Students broaden their understanding of visual art and their ability to think creatively and express themselves visually by studying specific art disciplines within our year-long, studio-based curriculum. Teachers emphasize fundamental techniques and creative problem-solving and guide each student to discover their personal artistic voice. Students build greater competence and deeper understanding through a curriculum that is progressively more complex and challenging. Differentiated teaching allows for individual modes of expression and ensures that students reach their full potential.

The program instills an appreciation of historical and contemporary art and how artists communicate diverse ideas and experiences. Across all grade levels, students acquire the vocabulary used for analysis, interpretation, and discussion of art. Students further their understanding of the historical, technical, and aesthetic aspects of artistic expression through visits to the many museums and galleries in the DC area. The critical thinking and creative problem-solving that we nurture in our K–12 students are lifelong skills that are essential to both their artistic growth and personal development.

All art courses, except computer graphic courses, run a full year and are open to all students in Grades 9–12 provided prerequisites are met. Computer graphic courses are for one semester only. Students may take up to four years in a particular area or discipline, advancing from level 1.0–4.0, or select courses from different disciplines. Students are often in classes with mixed levels of experience, providing the opportunity for an exchange of ideas across all levels, as well as exposure to more advanced concepts for the less experienced student. Teaching is differentiated for the various levels within a class, and students are evaluated accordingly. 


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