Early Childhood Visual Art consists of Jr Cubs students through 1st grade. begins the process of creativity and reinforces their fine motor skills. Every year she participates in the Color of Music Art Competition where the students are given a specific song to listen to and then they paint what they are feeling while listening to the music.
“Over the years, we’ve had several students’ artwork chosen to be on display at the Jackson Civic Center,” said Darlene Tanner, Lower School Art Teacher.
In 2nd-5th grade art, students will explore different mediums from drawing and watercolors, to hand building pottery, weaving and collage. As the students create different pieces of art, they learn about the lives of artists and their contributions. Throughout the year, students' artwork is on display on bulletin boards throughout the lower school, as well as the Arts at the U, which is a talent showcase representing all aspects of the arts across the three divisions: lower, middle and upper.
“My goal is for each student to have an appreciation of art and basic skills in observation, creating, sharing, and completing a task,” said Lower School Art Teacher Kay Thomson.
Lower School Art
Why choose the arts?
Visual Art teaches a student to value diversity and recognize different cultures. In an increasingly global society, this is a necessary skill and USJ provides this through their arts program.
In middle school art, students are introduced to a variety of media, techniques and styles of art which provides them with an opportunity for self-expression. This not only helps them develop their own artistic style, but helps to develop a deeper appreciation for art. Although the focus is on art production, art history and art critique is incorporated to help students unfold their own influences and opinions about artwork.
Each year, new concepts are taught in order to build upon their previous skills. Beginning in 6th grade, students learn about drawing realistically, using direct observation and linear perspective. They study color and paint mixing, while creating different acrylic paintings. In 7th grade, students focus on shading to add more realism. Projects range from basic shapes to drawing realistic portraits. The 8th grade students will continue to build upon those concepts by doing more advanced drawings that show depth and overlapping. They are also able to make two sculptures, one non-objective and one wire animal.
Students in 1st - 3rd quarter classes participate in the Color of Music Art contest sponsored by the Jackson Symphony. This contest encourages creativity and self expression by having students create artwork based on selected music. They create artwork in their preferred style that communicates the mood and meaning of the song. The winners of this competition have their artwork on display during one of the Jackson Symphony’s concerts, and they are honored at an awards ceremony.
Upper School Visual Arts students begin their artistic journey with Intro to Art as a semester class, or Art I as a year long class. Each class familiarizes students with a wide variety of 2-D and 3-D techniques, styles and mediums while also incorporating art history and art criticism into the curriculum. Students then enroll in Art II and Art III to continue to augment their art skills, while also endeavoring to develop their own artistic voices, ideas and styles. Analysis of art historical work, contemporary artists and their own artwork becomes essential in the student’s artistic development and growth.
Arts at The U, our annual arts exhibit sponsored by the Arts Guild, allows for all lower, middle, and upper school students to display their artwork to our fellow USJ family. Community competitions such as the BRACE art Competition, the West TN Regional Student Art Competition, Scholastic Art Competition, and more, give students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and compete against students from other schools. Our Upper School students also regularly attend the Governor’s School for the Arts, a rigorous four-week residency summer program, in which students admitted show true talent and motivation. Through these events, our students are encouraged to improve upon their skills and work diligently to achieve their artistic goals.
Advanced Placement (AP) in Art is a year-long course created for students who wish to develop a portfolio for College Board AP credit, college admission, career placement, and/or scholarship applications. The Advanced Placement Art and Design Studio class is intended for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. The AP Art and Design course framework presents an inquiry-based approach to learning about and making art and design. Students are expected to conduct an in-depth, sustained investigation of materials, processes, and ideas. AP Art and Design students develop and apply skills of inquiry and investigation, practice, experimentation, revision, communication and reflection.
A.P. Studio Art is not based on a final written examination. Instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year. At USJ we offer, AP Studio Drawing, AP Studio 2-D Design and AP 3-D Design. Students choose the appropriate class based on the media and type of work they create. Throughout the year, students are expected to develop a strong portfolio of work, explore a variety of concepts and ideas, incorporate an exploration and knowledge of art history, exhibit their work and engage in art critiques.
AP Studio Art
Upper School Art
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The visual arts department has made a such an impact on my life. The art educators have inspired, shaped, guided and cared for me to become the artist I am today. With their help, I am now able to attend one of the top art schools in the country on an academic and artistic scholarship.elle jerge, senior