Art is an essential part of Integral Formation. Art enhances the intellectual, spiritual, human, and apostolic formation of each child. Exploring art awakens an innate call from the Divine Creator and invites a creative response. “Through his ‘artistic creativity’ man appears more than ever ‘in the image of God.’” Saint John Paul II, Letter to Artists, 1999
Pinecrest Academy’s K-12 Visual Arts program provides opportunities for students to explore art production, art history, art appreciation, and art criticism, in light of Catholic theology and Christian tradition. At the heart of this creative exploration is the belief that God is love and that all of creation is a manifestation of God’s love, including the gifts and talents bestowed on his creatures.
Art is integrated into our lower school students’ learning objectives beginning with PreK. Art strengthens visual discrimination, visual acuity, fine motor skills, and eye-hand coordination, and is used to visually reinforce concepts in phonics, science, and social studies. All students have art class one to two times per week and are able to explore a variety of thinking processes, art forms, materials, and techniques. They use memory, imagination, and observation skills when creating art forms. Creative problem solving is encouraged, as students envision, design, and create their own compositions. Skill development leading toward good craftsmanship is practiced and encouraged. An understanding of the role that art plays in the world and in history is touched on. Students experience a variety of media such as chalk pastels, oil pastels, painting with watercolor and tempera, ceramics, paper maché, and more.
All middle school students take art class once a week. There is also an Advanced Art elective for 7th and 8th graders that meets daily. The advanced class is a good option for students who are passionate about art and want to work on more complex, time consuming projects. In 6th, 7th and 8th grade, a variety of mediums and techniques are used to create drawings, paintings and sculptures. The school hosts a Middle School Festival of the Arts at the end of each semester to showcase students' artwork.
Our high school visual arts curriculum offers a variety of opportunities for students to develop their God-given artistic gifts. Encouraging students to ponder and create manifestations of beauty offers them an opportunity to engage our world in an open dialogue. Understanding and appreciating past and present art allows students to develop their own visual language. Comprehending their voice in an historical context enables their owe expression to flourish and empowers them to evangelize through their art.
Students explore a variety of 2D and 3D art mediums and processes, as they develop and evaluate their ideas through the use of the design process. Students learn and apply the elements of art and principles of design to personal works of art. These elements are like the ingredients for works of art; they are the basic visual symbols artists use to create beauty. The elements are line, shape, form, color, value, space, and texture. The principles are the recipes for art. They are the ways artists use the elements to create artworks. The principles are balance, movement, pattern, contrast, rhythm, variety, and unity. Students create works of art that demonstrate concepts relating to these elements and principles.
With a strong design foundation, students learn how to seek new and innovative design solutions and artistic forms of expression on their own. Approaching art education with a “design thinking” lens, helps to spark this inner motivation, self-initiated discovery, and experimentation. Encouraging divergent thinking and cross-disciplinary collaboration opens them to contemporary dialogue.
The high school offers introductory and advanced classes in Drawing and Painting, Digital Imaging, and Sculpture/Ceramics. For self-motivated students who wish to develop their portfolios, Studio Art classes are offered, providing more advanced applications of media, concepts and expressions of ideas. Students are encouraged to develop a personal style of expression and choose media appropriate for communication of concepts. College-bound artists foster their skills in three AP Studio Art Classes: Drawing, 2D, and 3D Design Portfolios. All of Pinecrest’s high school students have passed the AP Studio Art Exam with a score of 4 or 5.
Inviting others to encounter the rich artistic heritage of the Catholic faith and reflection on one’s own faith journey ignites artistic exploration in the classroom. Sharing these imaginative manifestations with others through local, national, and international exhibitions serves to unite and expand the community in an authentically Catholic way. Two art shows are held each year, and our students have also exhibited nationally in the Scholastic Art competition and internationally in the UNESCO Bioethics Art Competition.
As John Paul II invites artists of the globe to create “new epiphanies of beauty,” students are inspired to engage in the New Evangelization with their life and work.