Art & Design Program

Art and Design at Avenues

The visual arts courses are devoted to the recognition and development of each student’s creative potential. We see art as a means of exploring, discovering and expressing one’s unique and valuable vision of the world while practicing the techniques related to visual communication. Our visual arts courses emphasize skill building alongside the examination of meaning and intention in art making.

Art & Design – Lower Grades

Lower Division Visual Art at Avenues allows students to explore a range of artistic media in developmentally appropriate ways. Students gain hands-on experience in painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, ceramics, construction, and digital arts, as they begin to discover their strengths and curiosities as young artists. In the younger years of grades 1-2, students build fine motor skills and begin to understand the various processes that an artist might use to make a work of art. In grade 3-5, students are challenged to complete more in-depth assignments, and creatively solve problems involving materials, processes, and experiences.

Each year focuses on a particular theme. Themes include:

Grade 1: Seeing our World, Creating from Experience
Grade 2: Realism, Fantasy, Abstraction
Grade 3: Invention and Design
Grade 4: Modern and Contemporary Art and Artists: Exploring Media, Materials, and Technology
Grade 5: Identity and Community

While art historical references are woven into every assignment, our young Avenues artists also get outside and into local galleries on a regular basis.

Art & Design – Middle Grades

In grades 6-8, students gain a deep understanding of the artistic process and the cultural and historical role of visual art. They practice a wide range of foundational techniques through investigation of 2D and 3D materials, including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture and digital art and design. In addition students reflect on and think critically about their process, craftsmanship and completed projects. Interdisciplinary project work is also a significant part of the studio arts curriculum, helping students become confident makers both in the studio and academic subject areas.

Art and Design – Upper Grades

In grades 9-12, the visual art and design courses are devoted to the recognition and development of each student’s creative potential. We see art as a means of exploring, discovering and expressing one’s unique and valuable vision of the world while practicing the techniques related to visual communication. Our visual arts courses emphasize skill building alongside the examination of meaning and intention in art making. In our design and engineering classes students explore the user centered design process through multiple media and technologies, including traditional and digital design and fabrication techniques, computer programming, robotics and electronics.

All 9th graders are required to take the freshman foundation studio: Introduction to Creative Process. This class is founded on the premise that to know something well one needs to be able to articulate how a question is generated and researched, sketched, iterated and reflected upon. In 10th grade, students can differentiate between visual arts and design and engineering. In 11th and 12th grade they may choose between a wide range of elective courses in art and design.

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