Visual Arts courses are designed to develop studio thinking in each artist. The particular studio habits of mind that are cultivated in an IDEAL School student are based upon Project Zero of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and are to to reflect, develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, stretch and explore, and understand the Art World. All of these habits are critical to developing visual fluency in a 21st century artist.
The Upper School Art Program also incorporates Critique, which is a time to develop the ability to question and explain peer/personal work. All art students participate constructively within the artistic community and maintain a personal sketchbook. Student work is evaluated based on the cultivation of studio habits of mind, interactive assessments, and final works. Students are exposed to historic and contemporary artists within each genre.
Students in grades seven to eight and in High School are encouraged to try an array of art elective offerings and to take at least one advanced visual arts course based on their interests to experience refinement of a skill towards mastery. Elective choices include Printmaking, Painting, Figure Drawing, Sculpture, and sequential art courses that explore creating graphic novels, flipbooks, and stop-motion animation. Artists are encouraged to push and blur the boundaries of the media used in the studio, constructing understanding of materials and media from hands-on experience. Art coursework in the Upper School culminates in the annual, school-wide ArtBeat body of work show.