At York Prep, art classes for the sixth through eighth grades allow time for creative exploration. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to tap into their fanciful, imaginative side, using the skills and the artistic media to which they are introduced as a vehicle for self-expression. In the upper school, the curriculum in the visual arts provides an aesthetic experience of value to an adolescent population.
Studio projects presented within the framework of sequentially organized lessons focus on the basic elements of art (line, color, shape, form, mass, texture, and value) and the basic principles of design (repetition, balance, emphasis, contrast, and unity). Projects emerge from an art historical context, thereby enabling students to develop their ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate qualities of visual form and to apply those qualities to their own work. Linking studio projects to recognized movements or periods in art history enhances the students’ knowledge and understanding of the role of art in society, underscores the unique nature and qualities of art, and illustrates how people make judgments about art.
Additionally, participation in the studio art program
- affords students familiarity with a wide range of materials, tools, equipment, and techniques;
- provides exposure to traditions of craftsmanship, particularly regarding respect for materials;
- fosters the development of such valuable personal qualities as patience, persistence, and constructive self-criticism; and
- promotes inquiry into artists’ motivations and of their contributions to society.
- Ninth and tenth grade students at York Prep explore a number of artistic media, including drawing, painting, two-dimensional design, sculpture, graphic design, photography, and film animation. Juniors and seniors can elect to participate in a portfolio art class to prepare a portfolio for acceptance to an art school. Projects are largely student-initiated and work is self-directed.