Visual Arts

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The Visual Arts classes are designed to develop and broaden critical and creative thinking skills, understanding of and appreciation for the visual arts and culture. And increase students’ proficiency in visual art techniques and processes. Driven by a focus on individual strengths, we offer a variety of opportunities to home one’s skills and knowledge.


Studio Art 1: Foundation

Students are offered the opportunity to explore various visual art forms and techniques in the elements and principles of art and design. Students will be introduced to and reinforce the basic two-dimensional and three-dimensional technique through a variety of media approaches to creating and responding to visual arts. Students will be encouraged to work creatively and to become competent in the use of different materials and basic processes.

Studio Art 2: 2-D Design

Students work in an expanded range of two-dimensional media. There will be concentration in areas of more advanced drawing, watercolor and acrylic painting, graphic design, digital media, and printmaking, as well as work in the artist’s own personal sketchbook.


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Studio Art 3: 3-D Design

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore methods of artistic expression through studies in three-dimensional art making. Exploring a variety of 3-dimensional media such as plaster, ceramics, mixed-media, sculpture, installation, metal work, wood work, mold-making and assemblage. Within each unit of study, various artists and artistic styles will be covered as well as different sculptural techniques and surface renderings.

Art History & Criticism:

Investigating the many roles of the visual arts and artists through historical, political, and other social contexts. Developing higher level thinking, visual literacy, art-related technology skill, art criticism, art history, and aesthetics.


AP 2-D Art and Design/ Portfolio Development:

This is an intensive yearlong studio art class designed for the serious art students. Students will create a portfolio of work, a sustained investigation which will culminate in the senior exhibition at a gallery off site. Typically, the work developed of AP Studio Art portfolios will also double as college-entry portfolio application requirements. Portfolios will be assessed by the College Board for Advanced Placement credit in lieu of an examination

Students will work with a variety of media, as well as personally selected media while preparing to complete a sequential portfolio of artwork. Students express their ideas and understanding of their artwork in a written commentary that accompanies their body of work. Scheduled critique sessions provide guidance and an opportunity to clarify and express ideas. Art journals or sketchbooks will be used on a regular basis for the development of a personal artistic vision. Students will be challenged to use independent thinking skills in the development of concepts in which they have a compelling interest.

Students enrolled in this course are not required to take the AP exam, but it is recommended and encouraged.

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Department Highlights

  • In 2014, our Visual Arts Department was invited to participate in the creation of large-scale eggs for the "Citywide Egg Hunt" sponsored by Faberge and displayed throughout the month of April at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

  • Our students have been selected annually to showcase their works at art galleries and premier museums throughout the five boroughs including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum and the Children's Museum.

Partnerships with:
Studio in a School, Recess Art, various Scholars programs (Pratt and Parsons), Metropolitan Museum Astor program, Brooklyn Borough Arts Fair, PS Art.

Past Electives (changes annually):
Mural Design, Scenic Design (in conjunction with Theatre), Public Art, Graphic Design, Ceramics, Storytelling, Art Zines

Audition requirements:

Portfolio should consist of 7-10 Pieces of Completed, Original Artwork

​Observational Work Strongly Suggested

​**Copies, cartoons, or doodles are discouraged


Eleanor Chung (Visual Arts)

Email: EChung@mckinneyssa.com