Arts at Ensworth
High School
Curriculum

Visual Arts

Courses in the Visual Arts are discipline-based using predominantly independent projects to promote the development of creativity. Individual review and group critiques supplement this creative process. Students use similar construction/deconstruction techniques in each discipline to find the essential elements in all art forms. The application of these exercises produces a portfolio of the student’s experiences in class. Computer use, web exposure, and ethical use of technology are reinforced throughout all arts courses.

Visual Arts Courses

List of 13 items.

  • AP Art History

    This course is, by its nature, interdisciplinary and context-based. It draws from the field of studio art in that students must have an understanding of the vocabulary of art and the formal elements of a work. The writing is similar to literary analysis because literature, too, is an art form. Understanding the historical context of a work is pivotal to gaining meaning from it; thus students must grasp a sense of chronology, as well as a working knowledge of history, philosophies, and religions.
  • AP Studio

    This college-level portfolio course provides the student with the opportunity to develop and organize a body of 22 original works that can be submitted as a portfolio to colleges and to the AP Board. Prior to acceptance, individual portfolios are reviewed on strength of techniques already mastered, evidence of conceptual skills, work ethic, and individual motivation in and outside the classroom. Only the most serious visual artist should consider this rigorous course of study.
  • Ceramics 1

    Ceramics 1 is designed for students with little or no prior experience with clay. Students learn a wide variety of methods that allow them to explore individual solutions to the hands-on projects. The instructional emphasis is on using ceramics as a creative medium, with hand-building techniques predominating. Class time includes demonstrations, critiques, slide and video discussions, as well as studio time. Projects explore the historical and contemporary uses of ceramics in addition to designing three-dimensional forms. Textbook readings and written assignments support the studio experience. 
  • Ceramics 2

    This course is designed for students who have taken Ceramics 1 and who wish to expand on their existing knowledge of ceramics. Through a study of the relationship between form and function, students learn the pottery wheel and new sculptural techniques. As a class, we look at both historical and contemporary ceramic art, though students are asked to develop their own individual ideas. We also look at different approaches to surface design and glazing. 
  • Ceramics 3

    This course explores more advanced wheel throwing and hand-building techniques within the context of art history and contemporary ceramic art. Class demonstrations show more complex approaches to surface design and form while challenging students to work in a larger scale. Over the course of the semester, students create cohesive bodies of work and individual styles emerge. Since students are not able to work on projects at home, they must have a strong commitment to utilizing all possible time outside of class during the school day to make sure they stay on track advancing their projects. 
  • Photo 1

    This course explores basic digital photographic image making through presentations, demonstrations, and group critique. By studying basic camera functions and the fundamentals of Adobe photo editing software, students are encouraged to explore the magic of photography by using their laptops as digital darkrooms. Students also learn how to tell a story or express conceptual meaning, manipulation of layers, storage of digital files, and printing options. 
  • Photo 2

    In Photo 2, students take an in-depth look at the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography. Demonstrations, discussions, and critiques provide the basis for an ongoing exploration of digital techniques and an exploration of traditional black and white darkroom techniques. The focus of this course is the development of a cohesive body of images, while simultaneously gaining a greater understanding of photographic art history. 
  • Photo 3

    This course explores unusual photographic techniques intended to expand the notion of what photography can be to the artist. This course is experimental in nature and explores medium format film, advanced printing processes, and conventional cameras, with a generous portion of photo history to provide context. Portfolio development is individually tailored to student interest. 
  • Studio Art 1

    This course is for the student who loves drawing and painting and wants to advance their technique and compositional skills. Assignments are designed to advance a student’s ability to depict objects through direct observation and the use of one’s imagination in developing interesting subject matter. In class exercises and formal projects include the use of graphite, charcoal, pastel and water-based painting media. The creative process is supported by textbook readings, written assignments, and discussions of historical, contemporary and multicultural art. 
  • Studio Art 2

    This course is designed for students who enjoy studio art and want to continue to progress their artistic skills. Students explore a variety of drawing media, water-based paints, and relief printmaking methods. Students investigate more advanced compositional arrangements, thematic choices and the appropriate use of reference materials. The creative process is supported by textbook assignments and the study of old master, multicultural and contemporary artists through presentations, discussions and critique. 
  • Studio Art 3

    This masters level course is designed for visual arts students who want to deepen their exploration of a wide range of techniques and methods in the classical disciplines of drawing, painting, and printmaking. Conceptual approaches to composition and subject matter also engage students in greater experimentation and inquiry. Students learn to support their ideas with correct appropriation and original reference material. Advanced media use, such as oil paint, screen printing, drawing and mixed media techniques are explored. Students must have a strong commitment to advance their projects outside of class to keep pace with the production expectations of the course. 
  • Studio Art 4

    This masters level course is designed for serious art students who want to continue to build their portfolios. Advanced painting, drawing, printmaking and mixed media methods are further explored. Students engage in increasingly complex compositional schemes and conceptual subject matter. Students must have a strong commitment to advance their projects outside of class and to keep pace with the production expectations of the course. Studio 4 is a semester of challenging coursework for the passionate artist and a prerequisite for AP Studio. 
  • Studio Art 5

    This masters level course is designed for serious art students who want to continue to build their portfolios for college review or to create additional college-worthy work for AP Studio. Advanced painting, printmaking, drawing, and mixed media methods are specifically tailored to boost students’ techniques and hone their particular styles. Students continue to explore innovative composition and conceptual subject matter. Students must have a strong commitment to advance their projects outside of class and to keep pace with the production expectations of the course. 

List of 1 news stories.

  • Jacqueline Frist at Carnegie Hall

    Rising Junior Recognized for Excellence in Art

    Jacqueline Frist ‘21 received a Gold Medal at the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her composite photograph “Forest of Dreams.” She was on hand to receive the medal at the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York in early June.
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