This live, online visual arts course is suited for students in grades 9-12 from all art backgrounds. Beginning drawing skills are highly recommended but not required. A complete blend of art appreciation and fine art instruction, this course is designed around the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations standards, building a solid foundation for further advanced art courses and counting as one high school credit for Visual Arts.
“The noblest art is that of making others happy.” –P.T. Barnum
Calling all artistic makers, Imagineer-minded innovators, creative and critical thinkers, and those who simply appreciate the arts and enjoy fascinating stories – this class is for you! The course focuses on helping students learn to think like artists and develop fundamental understanding of the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design through both studying and creating works of art. Although having basic beginner drawing skills is suggested, our class is designed for all artistic skill levels. We take a close look at visual storytelling and how artists employ basic concepts and design principles to effectively communicate ideas and evoke emotion.
This one-of-a-kind class features weekly live explorations in aesthetics, production, art criticism, and art history. It also engages students in creative problem solving through a variety of contemporary and traditional art-making processes in a very non-traditional studio experience. Students are continually involved in innovative thinking, self-expression and analysis, problem solving, and problem identification within their creative work. They are also encouraged to develop their skills in both verbal and written expression, as well as in their artwork. If at all possible, students are asked to visit a local art museum or gallery at least once throughout the year. Each semester will wrap up with a virtual art exhibit to share with family and friends, as well as with the Aim Academy community.
Our virtual class time will involve project sharing in a gallery format, interactive lecture and discussion with review and new learning of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history. It also includes demonstration and class experimentation with various techniques and media with a weekly visual prompt, and concludes with introduction and brainstorming as artists on the week’s upcoming project.
An optional demonstration of each week’s project will be recorded and posted every Wednesday where students can follow along with the instructor throughout the process. They can pause or speed up the recording as needed, observing the techniques and tips for using the medium, as well as ways to work through the creative process in interpreting the assignment. Each week’s project allows for complete (school appropriate) creative freedom and personalized artwork. The concepts, techniques, and media may be the same for all students but each artwork will be unique to the student.
*Please Note: Students should plan to spend 2-4 hours a week on their homework for this course outside of our live class session.
This course seeks to achieve the following goals through a study of artists and their art as well as weekly hands-on projects:
- We will identify, describe, and apply the elements of art and principles of design.
- We will experience studio practices that include a variety of traditional media, techniques, and processes in two and three dimensions. *While supply lists are given and encouraged, media substitutions are provided and allowed with a focus on mastering the concepts vs. mastering the media.
- We will develop basic visual art literacy and vocabulary.
- We will develop and refine observational drawing skills.
- We will experience opportunities to apply the constructs of Art Criticism and critique to works of art, including their own.
- We will compare and contrast universal qualities, function, and purpose of visual art in world cultures through research and analyzing significant artists, styles, and movements in Art History.
- We will explore the value of technology and its relationship to visual art.
- We will research careers in and related to visual art, and have working artists come as guest lecturers to share their work and answer questions about careers in the visual arts.
- We will generate portfolios as assessment tools and artistic presentation.
- We will develop basic creative problem-solving skills and refine craftsmanship.
- We will explore visual avenues to communicate self-expression.
My teaching style is lighthearted, relational, and tailored to each group of students in my class. I keep my class atmosphere positive and encouraging – a place where all feel welcome and valued, with a focus on the joy and wonder of creating and creation, and where all artworks discussed will be kept rated PG and family-friendly.
Students will first learn to critique master works, then their own works of art before they begin to critique fellow students. All critiques, whether given by teacher or classmates, will be crafted to produce insightful, helpful and, wherever possible, positive statements meant to encourage and deepen the understanding and success of the student artist. Feedback to all students will be done in positivity, kindness, and encouragement with a focus on the art concepts being studied over talent or skill level.
Live meetings via Zoom will occur every week on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. ET. First semester will focus on the Elements of Art, continuing into second semester with an emphasis on Design Principles, and an introduction to art history incorporated throughout. All course meetings are optional, though they are highly encouraged for class community and to ensure understanding. They will be recorded for scheduling convenience. Students who are unable to attend live lectures will still be able to participate with peers through our weekly short-form written group discussions on the course website in Canvas. This course emphasizes that art is for all and values the heart of homeschooling where flexibility is a top priority.
Over the course of the school year, students will engage in interactive lectures and weekly discussions, reflect and respond orally and in writing to famous artworks in numerous styles and art movements. This includes two-three research papers and two PowerPoint/Google slide/other media presentations. Students can also expect to keep a visual journal/sketchbook, where they will wrestle with and work through artistic problems.
Please Note: Students will also have hands-on art projects to work on each week, some taking several weeks for completion. This class will require 2-4 hours outside of live class time of creative and reflective response time each week.
Weekly assignments may include:
- A weekly 60-minute live meeting
- Interactive discussion of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history in our Canvas Discussion forum
- Reading/viewing assignments from our text, handouts, or various sources
- Art journal/sketchbook prompts
- Art projects in a variety of styles, techniques, and media
- Research, critiques, and compare and contrast papers (only 2 papers max per semester)
Who should enroll?
Students in 9th-12th grades can enroll in this class; they should be able to write a basic high school level paper. Beginning drawing skills are recommended but not required. Students may take Beginning Drawing Mini Courses simultaneously, as they are direct instruction and do not require homework. This class will be the foundational class for all further and more advanced Aim Academy art courses.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Digital camera (can be phone with camera), or other means to photograph, scan, and upload student artwork
Evaluation and Feedback
All homework will be submitted and formally critiqued through our website on Canvas. I provide detailed critiques on all artwork, focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept versus artistic skill, and respond to course discussion responses personally. My goal is to provide detailed artwork critiques within 1 week of the assignment’s due date (2 weeks for larger projects). Students receive all critiques well before the next art project is due so that they may steadily develop and grow in their artistic abilities while improving their work and developing their own artistic style with each assignment.
I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email with clear details and video instructions on how to navigate this course. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers, and I will respond to all parents’ and student questions within 24 hours via email or Canvas message. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.