VISUAL aRTS DEPARTMENT
Visual Arts offers a variety of course selections in a comprehensive Program of Study, including foundation courses in drawing, painting, photography, art history, and crafts. Advanced Placement Studio Art courses in Drawing, 2-D Design, and 3-D Design are offered for students in their junior or senior year to enhance the quality of their art portfolios in preparation for college.
The Visual Arts Department is one of the largest art majors at SAA with five highly experienced instructors to guide, nurture, and inspire students to develop their potential as young artists. A well-rounded curriculum includes an understanding in art history, aesthetics, criticism, and production, which are used to focus on academic and artistic growth.
Students are required to display their artwork on a regular basis in the school’s Fine Arts Gallery with exciting monthly theme related exhibits to showcase their artwork (see gallery schedule). In addition, students are required to submit artwork and attend receptions to the winter and spring art exhibits adjudicated by the Portfolio Review Management Committee from the Savannah College of Art & Design, our education partner. Awards and prizes are given in six categories including drawing, painting, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and fine crafts.
Our program provides students real life learning opportunities to attend master workshops, college visitations from major art schools, local guest artist presentations, field trips, portfolio reviews, Governor’s Honor Program, and internships to interact with art professionals in the community. Students who maintain an 80 average or above with their arts courses are eligible to apply for membership in their second year to the National Art Honors Society. Our chapter #2092 is designed for students to assist in the gallery, plan activities for fund-raising, paint murals, attend out-of-town field trips, and mentor new students.
Students are encouraged to submit artwork into local, state, and national competitions and often receive top honors in the Congressional High School Art Exhibition, Georgia High School Drawing Competition, All-State Art Symposium, Scholastic Art Awards, and others. In turn, students often receive scholarship awards to prestigious private art schools and colleges to pursue their dream in becoming a professional artist.
Skills and techniques are taught to enhance art portfolios, which students are expected to build, maintain, and review on a yearly basis. Portfolios should contain only original and quality artworks, focusing on a theme or concentration. Artworks should include a variety of subject matter, media, styles, techniques, sizes, formats, and demonstrate a progression of skills. Design, composition, and color theory are key components to a good portfolio and are taught in all courses. At the end of the year, each student will participate in a portfolio review and will be evaluated with the following criteria: 1) oral presentation, approximately 10-15 minutes; 2) portfolio contents, 12 quality pieces; 3) appearance; and 4) completion of a written self-evaluation.