Worcester’s premier college-preparatory co-ed day school serving students from Central MA and MetroWest, Pre-K–Grade 12
Arts

Upper School Art Classes

US Art Student - CeramicsThe Art program in the Upper School consists of a wide variety of elective art classes encompassing, Studio Art, Ceramics, Sculpture, Photography, Computer Graphics and Art History. Students have choices of half and full credit art classes that meet for the entire 6 class weekly rotation or just 3 periods per week.

The goal of our classes is to teach strong applicable art skills, develop a deep understanding and appreciation of art, and to strengthen the intellectual and creative development of our high school students. We feel that the experience of taking an art class is as important as the final product and encourage Upper School students to take art classes regardless of what they feel their skill level is.

Digital Photo by Andrew S.

Field trips to the Worcester Art Museum, Boston Globe Scholastic Arts Awards Exhibit and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and other student and professional exhibitions support the art program. Art History is incorporated into the curriculum through our Project-Based Global Art History class and taught as a part of many of our Studio Art and Photo classes to help the students develop an appreciation for the arts and an art vocabulary. Recently a biennial program of trips to Europe to study art, architecture and art history has been instituted to further strengthen the program. (photo credit: digital photo by student Andrew S.)

In the spring of each year we hold an Upper School Art Show. All students enrolled in Visual Arts classes are included in the show and students, parents, faculty, family and friends are invited to come and celebrate our High School artists.

AP Studio Art

Name of Course: Advanced Placement Studio Art

Prerequisite: Studio 3

Grade Level: 12

Length of instructional time/weekly: Meets for four 45 min. periods and one 90 min. period per rotation

Length of Course: Full-year course

Credit: one credit

Additional Course Prerequisites:
All of our Studio Art classes are sequential and designed to culminate with the AP Studio class. Studio I introduces students to the elements and principles of design, life and imaginary drawing, color theory and acrylic painting. Studio II further builds on skills from Studio I and also introduces students to 3D design and various printmaking techniques. Studio III is a pre-AP class in which students further the knowledge gained in the previous two class levels with more advanced and sophisticated projects and a greater breadth of materials and approaches. Studio III students are also introduced to oil painting and advanced sculpture techniques. Students are also strongly encouraged to take intensive, multi-week “Pre-College Visual Art Workshops” in the summer after completing Studio III, in preparation for both their college applications and AP Studio Art. Our school also provides specific courses in Graphic Design, Ceramics and Photography that students can take at any level to further strengthen their portfolio.

Overview of Course Content:
AP Studio Art is a continuation of Studio 3, with the overall curriculum more specifically directed by the requirements of the Advanced Placement portfolio due in May. Under the instructor’s supervision, students must exercise autonomy and good planning to set the pace for completion and photographs of their portfolio. The projects in AP Studio include advanced drawing, painting, sculpture and graphics projects depending upon which of the three AP Portfolios the students choose. Each portfolio also has a “Concentration” requirement, which requires that each student choose a particular direction or motif for his or her work.

Objectives of the Course:
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to draw, paint or sculpt sufficiently well to either enter or be given credit towards a college-level foundation program. The student will understand the basics of 2-D or
3-D design, and will have prepared a portfolio that demonstrates his/her skills, breadth and creativity.

Student Assessment in the Course based upon:
• effort to grow and try new and more ambitious projects
• quality and amount of work completed in class
• quality and amount of work completed outside of class
• application and reception of constructive criticism
• development of concentration and essay and breadth

Resource Material Used in the Course
Class:
Constant use of art studio library of art books. Slides/digital images or videotapes about individual artists like Van Gogh, Rauschenberg,or Sokari Douglas Camp.

Trips: to the Worcester Art Museum, or a daylong expedition to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Exhibits: Ongoing student exhibits at Bancroft and submissions to local, Boston and New England juried student art exhibitions.

Artwork by Grizelle De Souza.

Introductory Ceramics

Name of Course: Introductory Ceramics

Prerequisite: None

Grade Level: 9-12

Length of instructional time/weekly: - (4) 45 min. period, (1) 90 min. period per rotation

Length of Course: 1 semester

Credit: 1/2

Overview of Course Content:

  1. History of Clay
  2. Pinch hand-building method, study of form
  3. Coil hand-building, Native American pottery
  4. Slab structure, tiles
  5. Use of glazes
  6. Decorative glaze application, wax resist, oxides
  7. Wheel throwing, trimming
  8. Sculpture

Objectives of the Course:

To introduce students to the history of clay as an art form and provide an opportunity to work creatively in an exciting three-dimensional medium. Students will learn the basics of hand-building techniques and beginning wheel throwing while exploring the use of design to enhance forms. They will design sculptural pieces that enhance their creative ability and require planning, yet allow room for experimentation. Museum field trips, slides, and videos are all presented so that students will understand the value ceramics plays in the art world.

Advanced Ceramics

Prerequisite: Introductory Ceramics or permission of instructor

Grade level: 9 -12

Length of instructional time/weekly: (4) 45 min. classes, (1) 90 min. class per rotation

Length of course: half year

Credit: One-half credit

Overview of Course content:
Advanced Ceramics is designed to expand on the Introductory Ceramics course, with emphasis on further development of skills while working in clay. Students will work on both hand-building and wheel-forming assignments, and will increase their knowledge of firing and glazing procedures. Creative thinking, problem solving, and technical development through demonstrations and discussions will be fostered.

The following units are covered:

  1. Form and Function: Assignments include creating well-formed clay vessels that are even in weight and glazed appropriately so that they are not only pleasing to look at but also serve a useful purpose.
  2. Surface and Form: We cover creative use of surface treatments such as slips and stains to enhance clay pieces. Students will work with molds so that the forming process can be done rather quickly and the emphasis placed on creative surface design.
  3. Sculpture: Students will complete a free-form sculpture assignment, experiment with carving tools, and enhance with glaze or paints. Students will also create a thrown piece that has sculptural elements added to it.
  4. Field Experience: A trip to the Worcester Center for Crafts or a local working studio artist’s facility is planned. Students will actively participate in either a Raku or Soda firing experience.

 

Computer Graphics

Prerequisite: None

Grade Level: 9-12

Length of instructional time/weekly: 2 periods per rotation (90 min and 45 min)

Length of Course: 1 year

Credit: 1/2

Overview of Course Content:
This course will allow students to develop graphic designs skills and learn how to apply them well for more professional and effective presentations and communications.
The software used is the current industry standard.

  • Design essentials will involve: Research, Typography, Contrast, Layout, Grid Systems, Identity, Logos, & Critique and Analysis
  • Principles of Graphic Design
  • Uses of Technology/Symbols/Imaging/Engineering Design Process
  • Scanning, Printing, Resolutions, and Image property information
  • Introduction to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

Sample projects:

  • Designing CD/DVD covers
  • Antique photo restoration
  • Design a company logo and branding/advertising
  • Design packaging for a product
  • Poster for a social cause
  • Brochures
  • Magazine covers
  • Basic web pages

Objectives of the Course:
To develop skills in the technical and aesthetic use of computer equipment and applications in order to produce digital graphics, and learn desktop publishing applications.

Resource Material Used in the Course:
Handouts and demonstrations
www.atomiclearning.com

CD cover: Emily Mandara Grade 11

 

Global Art History

Grade Level: 11 – 12

Length of instructional time/weekly: Meets for four 45 min. periods and one 90 min. period per rotation

Length of Course: Full-year course

Credit: one credit

Overview of Course Content:
Global Art History is a chronological survey of painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography of the Western tradition as well as selected works from other cultures beyond the European tradition.

Works from China, India, Japan, South America, Meso-America, and Africa will also be introduced so students can understand the ideas and concepts that unite the art of these cultures with the time periods within the Western tradition. This curriculum will enable students to explore the many cultural traditions and diverse art practices that shape contemporary art in our current time.

Field trips to local museums, class projects, research papers, oral presentations, as well as quizzes and tests will all be part of this course.

Objectives of the Course:
Students will be required to build a vocabulary of art and architectural terms through quizzes and class discussions. Critical thinking skills will be acquired through slide comparisons as well as written assignments. Hands-on studio art projects related to each chapter will give the students an opportunity to understand art by making art.

Resource Material Used in the Course:
Slide presentations supplemented by class and project activities for each chapter of the textbook. Our class work is supplemented by videos, trips to the Worcester Art Museum, and by a daylong expedition to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Curricular Interconnections:

  1. The potential for connection with courses in other departments, especially History and English, is almost constant in this course. Any area of human knowledge is potentially relevant to this course, and concepts from the fields of cosmology, the history of science, and psychology often come up.
  2. Global Art History, while it has no formal prerequisite, is usually taken by juniors and seniors who have had the experience of a number of secondary level history courses and may also have taken studio courses. The opportunity is there to make connections, and the teacher uses 'teachable moments' to encourage these.

Collage by Lilla Tamas Gr. 12

Advanced Photography

Prerequisite: Introductory Darkroom/Film Photography or Introductory Digital Photography

Grade Level: 9-12

Length of Instructional Time/Weekly: Four 45-min. periods, One 90-min. period per rotation

Length of Course: 1 semester (spring)

Credit: 1/2

Overview of Course Content
Photo History:

  • Camera Obscura room
  • Photogenic Drawing (Photograms)
  • Pinhole Camera
  • Early Portraits
  • Roll Film and the Invention of the Shutter
  • Photojournalism
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Darkroom Photography:
  • Pinhole Cameras
  • Cameras (Film Use)
  • Darkroom Use
  • Still Life Photography

Digital Photography:

  1. Basics Review
  2. Yearbook Superlatives
  3. Scanning Film Photos and Computer Hand Coloring
  4. Portraits (with Synchronized Lighting)
  5. Portrait Montage
  6. HDR Photos
  7. Ultra Mega Photos
  8. Final Project Photo “Book”

Objectives of the Course:
This class will enable students to develop advanced skills in the technical and aesthetic use of digital cameras and film cameras with the darkroom and related computer equipment and applications such as Adobe Photoshop to produce both quality high-resolution digital and darkroom prints. The History of Photography will also be covered. This second-semester course is open to students who have completed either Introductory Darkroom/Film Photography or Introductory Digital Photography classes.

Resource Material Used in the Course:
The Bancroft Photo Dept. slide and book collection, and the library and instructor's photo book collection. Related field trips to area galleries or museums.

Curricular Interconnections:
Compositional relationships with Studio Art Classes, relation to Modern and U.S. History classes, writing across the curriculum with final project captions.

Photo by Allie Rains

Introductory Studio Art

Prerequisite: None

Grade Level: 9 – 12

Length of instructional time/weekly: One 45-min. period, and one 90-min. period per rotation

Length of Course: Full-year

Credit: one-half

Overview of Course Content:
Introductory Studio Art is designed as a structured, skill-building course for students who are interested in learning about basics in the visual arts. The course is divided into a series of units, and the units in turn are broken down into projects which allow students the likelihood of success through a step-by-step process. Both class and outside assignments have set deadlines to keep the pace challenging. The Units in Introductory Studio Art are:

  1. Drawing, Design and Composition— projects in form-making, perspective, ink wash, charcoal.
  2. Drawing from Life— more challenging drawing projects including head and figure studies and studies from plants and landscape.
  3. Color, Design, and Basic Acrylic Painting— projects in collage, colored pencil, oil pastel, and painting from nature and imagination.

Objectives of the Course:
Upon completion of the course, the student will have a grasp of the basic issues of drawing, color, and design, and be ready to go into intermediate art challenges.

Resource Material Used in the Course:
Class: Slide presentations, constant use of art books. Video or DVDs about individual artists such as Van Gogh, Magritte, and others. Trips to the Worcester Art Museum or a daylong expedition to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Ongoing student exhibits at Bancroft, and submissions to local, Boston, and New England juried student arts exhibitions.

Curricular Interconnections:

  1. Introductory Studio Art occasionally uses assignments which have a subject relationship to other courses—for example we have done a large colored design based on a short videotape that tries to describe the origins of the Universe. Our “Principles of Design” unit relates directly to creative writing and music.
  2. Introductory Studio Art takes advantage of and grows out of the skills and experiences laid down in the Lower and Middle School programs, including the 8th grade elective courses.

Artwork by Kieran Sheldon

Intermediate Studio Art

Name of Course: Intermediate Studio Art

Prerequisite: Introductory Studio Art or permission of instructor

Grade Level: 10 – 12

Length of instructional time/weekly: One 45-min. period and one 90 min. period per rotation

Length of Course: Full-year course

Credit: one-half

Overview of Course Content:
Intermediate Studio Art is a design and art course that involves creation of 2-D and 3-D art projects. Intermediate Studio Art is designed as a structured, skill-building course for students who are interested in continuing beyond the basics in the visual arts. Part of the structure of the class allows students to experiment and problem solve with different art forms and media.

The media will involve a variety of materials including: paint, colored pencil, clay, wire, recycled materials, printmaking, and computer software.

The students’ success depends largely on effort and attitude within the studio setting.

  • Illustration from observation and memory. Color pencil techniques will be introduced and utilized including color blending and color theory.
  • Printmaking using block cut, linoleum techniques and/or etching and monoprints. Registration techniques will be introduced and utilized.
  • Three dimensional sculpture using clay, wire, foam core, papers, and collage. Process and concepts will be stressed.
  • Pen and Ink illustration from observation and professional artists influences. Design and typography will be stressed.
  • Watercolor painting in large format, reflective of tondo paintings from the Renaissance era. Traditional and contemporary techniques will be introduced and utilized.
  • Acrylic painting of magnified image concentration on texture, line, shape, pattern and complementary color.
  • Dream/nightmare “scape” 2d and 3d sculpture utilizing techniques and materials of the artists choosing. Concept of the idea and visual images are stressed.

Resource Material Used in the Course:
Use of art studio library of art books. Videos about individual artists, trips to the Worcester Art Museum, and a day expedition to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Student exhibits at Bancroft and with local and Boston student arts exhibitions.

Advanced Studio Art

Prerequisite: Intermediate Studio Art

Grade Level: 11 – 12

Length of instructional time/weekly: Four 45-min. periods and one 90 min. period per rotation

Length of Course: Full-year course

Credit: one credit

Overview of Course Content:
Advanced Studio Art is designed as a structured, skill-building course for students who are interested in building on skills learned in Introductory and Intermediate Studio Art, exploring creative possibilities more deeply, and possibly preparing a portfolio for college entrance and/or submission for Advanced Placement. The course is divided into a series of units, and the units in turn are broken down into projects which allow students the likelihood of success through a step-by-step process. Both class and outside assignments have set deadlines to keep the pace challenging. The Units in Advanced Studio Art are:

  1. Advanced Drawing Skills— sustained figure drawing, studies of skulls, plants, etc.
  2. Major Drawn Still-Life with Mirror and Prop.
  3. Advanced Oil and Acrylic and Pastel Projects— shaped canvas, imaginary and observational landscapes.
  4. Advanced Sculpture Projects— more complex sculpture challenges, such as clay, assemblages and using found objects for sculptural balance.

Objectives of the Course:
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to draw, paint, and sculpt sufficiently well to enter a college-level foundation program. The student will understand the basics of 2-D and 3-D design, and will have begun to prepare a portfolio (for AP Studio Art) that demonstrates his/her skills, breadth, and creativity.

Resource Material Used in the Course:
Class: Occasional slide talks. Constant use of art studio library of art books. Slides or videotapes about individual artists like Nevelson, Rauschenberg, and Sokari Douglas Camp. Trips to the Worcester Art Museum, or a daylong expedition to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Ongoing student exhibits at Bancroft and with submissions to local, Boston, and New England juried student arts exhibitions.

Artwork by Hannah Zamore

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