Visual Arts

Standards

When students create, present, respond and connect to and through the arts, they develop artistic and creative habits essential to student success as an artist, scholar and community member.

The Visual Arts Program offers students an in depth exploration of the standards identified in the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Frameworks (1999) and is informed by the National Core Arts Standards (2014).  Support for classroom and afterschool activities are enhanced through partnerships with local and national cultural organizations. Our 50 member staff is committed to developing the whole child, the whole learner, and the whole artist.

Arts Magnet Curriculum, PreK-12

Our Arts Magnet Programs at Worcester Arts Magnet School (preschool through grade 6), Burncoat Middle School (grades 7-8) and Burncoat High School (grades 9-12) provide students the opportunity to specialize in visual art, music, dance or theatre.

Burncoat Middle and High School of the Arts

At Burncoat Middle and High Schools,  students choose to concentrate in visual arts, media arts, music, dance or theater.

Hanover Insurance Academy of the Arts

The Hanover Insurance Academy for the Arts is a program designed for gifted and talented students, grades 7 -12 in the City of Worcester located on the Burncoat Campus. The program supports students in developing a strong academic foundation, which will enable them to be strategic thinkers, complex problem solvers, effective communicators, creative collaborators and active contributing members in the community. Students will demonstrate mastery of concepts and content through a variety of shows and interdisciplinary projects.Courses offered are Magnet Drawing, Magnet Painting, Magnet Advanced Drawing, Magnet Advanced Painting, Magnet Foundations, Magnet 2D Design, Magnet Advanced 2D Design, Magnet 3D Design, Magnet Advanced 3D Design, AP Studio Art (2D Design, 3D Design, and Drawing and Painting) and AP Art History (Worcester Art Museum).

Magnet Painting

Students will create two - dimensional paintings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Students will communicate ideas in painting that explore the styles of representation, non-representation and abstraction. Painting concepts will explore the elements of two-dimensional design and concepts in critical thinking. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students’ ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium.

Magnet Advanced Painting

Students will continue to create two - dimensional paintings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Students will communicate ideas in painting that explore the styles of representation, non-representation and abstraction. Painting concepts will explore the elements of two dimensional design and concepts in critical thinking. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students’ ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium. Students will curate a collection of paintings to impact a viewer’s understanding of social, cultural and or political experiences.

Magnet Drawing

Students will learn to create two-dimensional drawings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Various classifications of drawings will be explored to include: Line, Mood and Value, Still Life, Landscape, Ornamental, Portraiture and Illustration. Students will communicate ideas from observation, memory, and imagination. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students’ ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium. Students will critique, justify and present choices in the process of analyzing, selecting, curating, and presenting works of art for a specific exhibit or event.

Magnet Advanced Drawing

Students will continue create two-dimensional drawings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Various classifications of drawings will be explored to include: Line, Mood and Value, Still Life, Landscape, Ornamental, Portraiture and Illustration. Students will communicate ideas from observation, memory, and imagination. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students’ ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium. Students will curate a collection of objects, artifacts, or artworks to impact the viewer’s understanding of social, cultural and or political experiences.

Magnet 3D Design

Students will design and build works in a three-dimensional plane, whether physical or virtual. They will broaden their fabrication techniques through investigating a range of materials. Students will address issues of understanding and envisioning space, objects, scale and the built environment. This studio will involve assignments and critiques in which students are encouraged to think through three-dimensional works in an additive and/or subtractive method. Research, reflection and critique of current sculptural practices will be considered. Students will critique, justify and present choices in the process of analyzing, selecting, curating, and presenting works of art for a specific exhibit or event.

Magnet Advanced 3D Design

Students will continue to visualize, design and build works in a three-dimensional plane, whether physical or virtual. They will master their fabrication techniques through self - selected projects involving multiple materials. Students will address issues of understanding and envisioning space, objects, scale and the built environment. Research, reflection and critique of current and historical sculptural practices will be considered. Students will curate a collection of objects, artifacts, or artworks to impact the viewer’s understanding of social, cultural and or political experiences.

Elementary Curriculum, District-wide

All elementary students receive visual art instruction once weekly and many elementary schools also offer art club after school.

Grade K Art

In kindergarten, students will begin to explore topics related to the development of artistic literacy: engaging in play with materials, describing what images represent, selecting chosen works and creating work that tells a personal story.  Areas of study will include the introduction of lines, shapes, features of the face, two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, pliable materials, primary colors, secondary colors, and texture.

Grade 1 Art

In grade 1, students will continue to explore concepts of artistic literacy: engaging in collaborative play, describing works of art, identifying the roles of art museums, and understand that people make art for different reasons.

Areas of study will include the introduction and creation of directional lines, properties of lines, complex objects by combining geometric shapes, stenciling, features in portraiture, shapes in foreground and background space, three-dimensional forms of objects with pliable materials, warm and cool colors, and  the illusion of texture on a two-dimensional surface through the use of lines and rubbing.

Grade 2 Art

In grade 2, students will continue to expand their concepts of artistic literacy: elaborating on ideas, categorizing images, distinguishing between materials, and connecting art to events in home, school and community. Areas of study will include introducing the expressive use of lines, repeating shapes to create patterns, landscape drawing, paper as a form of three-dimensional sculpture, secondary colors and creating mood through the use of color, and the use of texture to add details to two-dimensional and three-dimensional work.

Grade 3 Art

In grade 3, students will continue to expand their concepts of artistic literacy: elaborating on imaginative ideas, determining an artistic message, and investigate the possibilities for exhibiting artwork. Areas of study will include the introduction of horizon line, geometric shapes as the basis for realistic drawings, portraiture through the use of a model, atmospheric perspective, modeling three-dimensional sculptures through the use of a variety of materials, the coil method of hand building in clay, drawing shapes and shadows, awareness of texture in nature and the man-made world.

Grade 4 Art

In grade 4, students will continue to expand their concepts of artistic literacy: brainstorming ideas, analyzing components of imagery, preserving artwork, and recognizing how art reflects community. Areas of study will include the introduction to parallel and perpendicular lines, the concept of positive and negative space as shapes, portraiture in profile, one point perspective, additive and subtractive sculpture process, the color wheel with primary, secondary and intermediate colors, complementary color harmony, color values through the use of white, gray and black, and inventive texture in two-dimensional and three-dimensional art work.

Grade 5 Art

In grade 5, students will continue to expand their concepts of artistic literacy: creating personal relevant art, comparing artistic interpretations, defining the roles of curators, and identifying how art is used to inform beliefs. Areas of study will include introduction of the grid method of enlargement, negative space drawing, portraiture in combination with figure drawing, one point perspective drawing of a city scene, relief sculpture and modeling of sculpture in the round using animal forms, monochromatic color harmony, drawing with the use of hatching, cross-hatching lines and stippling to produce value, and textural components of the face and figure.

Grade 6 Art

In grade 6, students will continue to expand their concepts of artistic literacy: formulating artistic investigations, interpreting works of art to reveal how people live, developing a visual plan for presentation, and analyzing how art reflects changing times.  Areas of study will include the introduction to using shapes to express mood or emotion, two-point perspective with simple shapes, psychology of color in art, transparent, translucent and opaque paints, organizing shapes into a composition, and the distinction between visual and tactile texture.

Middle School Curriculum, District-wide

Grade 7 Art

In grade 7, students will continue to expand their concepts of artistic literacy: apply methods to overcome creative blocks, analyze how art is prepared for presenting, analyze how art affects and audience, and analyze how art is influenced by time and place. Areas of study will include the application of the properties and qualities of line, detailed use of one point perspective, color theory; use of geometric, freeform and realistic shapes through balance and composition, translation of two-dimensional sketches into three-dimensional form, translation of two-dimensional sketches from three-dimensional objects, use of basic proportions of the human figure in drawing and value gradation to draw visual forms, develop a sense of balance and contrast in the use and placement of texture within a composition.

Grade 8 Art

In grade 8, students will continue to expand their concept of artistic literacy: document early stages of creative process, develop criteria for evaluating and artwork, and collaboratively create a theme-based show. Areas of study include the application of linear patterns within a composition, use of two-point linear perspective in creating the illusion of spatial depth, creation of abstract shapes based on realistic objects, organization of patterns through various design concepts, use of overlapping background, middle ground and foreground shapes, creation of the illusion of three-dimensional texture on a two-dimensional surface, application of a variety of textures within a composition and applying the concept of balance in the selective placement of textures within a composition.

High School Curriculum, District-wide

Each high school offers its’ own Visual Art electives, including Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art, Foundations, Drawing, Advanced Drawing, Painting, Advanced Painting, 2D Design, Advanced 2D Design, 3D Design, Advanced 3D Design. AP Art History is offered as a district-wide course at the Worcester Art Museum. Please see individual schools for specific offerings.

Foundations

In this introductory course,  students will develop proficiency in various artmaking techniques and media to create artwork that demonstrates a personal artistic voice.  Students will analyze their own work, the work of peers, and the work of professional artists to demonstrate an understanding of formal, cultural and historical contexts of the work.  Students will explore painting, drawing, 2D design, 3D design, thematic development and curation.

Drawing

In this course, students will learn to create two-dimensional drawings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Various classification of drawings will be explores to include: Line, Mood and Value, Still Life, Landscape, Ornamental. Students will communicate ideas from observation, memory, and imagination. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium.

Advanced Drawing

In this advanced level course, students will study topics at a deeper level and will be expected to complete more independent coursework and assignments.

Students will continue create two-dimensional drawings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Various classifications of drawings will be explored to include: Line, Mood and Value, Still Life, Landscape, Ornamental, Portraiture and Illustration. Students will communicate ideas from observation, memory, and imagination. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students’ ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium.

3D Design

In this course, students will visualize, design and build works in a three dimensional plane, whether physical or virtual. They will broaden their fabrication techniques through investigating a range of materials. Students will address issues of understanding and envisioning space, objects, scale and the built environment. This studio will involve assignments and critiques in which students are encouraged to think through three-dimensional works in an additive and/or subtractive method. Research, reflection and critique of current sculptural practices will be considered.

Advanced 3D Design

In this advanced level course, students will study topics at a deeper level and will be expected to complete more independent coursework and assignments. Students will visualize, design and build works in a three dimensional plane, whether physical or virtual. They will master their fabrication techniques through self - selected projects involving multiple materials. Students will address issues of understanding and envisioning space, objects, scale and the built environment. Research, reflection and critique of current and historical sculptural practices will be considered.

Painting

In this course, students will learn to create two - dimensional paintings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Students will communicate ideas in painting that explore the styles of representation, non-representation and abstraction. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students’ ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium.

Advanced Painting

In this advanced level course, students will study topics at a deeper level and will be expected to complete more independent coursework and assignments. Students will continue to create two - dimensional paintings expressed through a range of individual concepts, contemporary concerns and various materials. Students will communicate ideas in painting that explore the styles of representation, non-representation and abstraction. Contemporary and historical references will be used to increase the students’ ability to interpret, respond and understand various concepts in the medium.

Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art (2D Design Portfolio, 3D Design Portfolio and Drawing Portfolio)  

In this course, students will focus their artistic investigation in Drawing, 2D Design or 3D Design.  Each portfolio has a basic, three-section structure requiring the student to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual concerns and methods.   A quality portfolio will reflect quality (selected works), concentration (sustained investigation) and breadth (range of approaches). Students enrolled in the AP Studio Art course have the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both-while still in high school.  

Advanced Placement (AP) Art History at the Worcester Art Museum

In this  course at the Worcester Art Museum, students will learn to critically analyze works of art within diverse historical and cultural contexts, considering issues such as politics, religion, patronage, gender, and ethnicity. Students explore a specific set of 250 works of art in 10 content areas beginning with art from global prehistory and ending with global works from the present. Students enrolled in the AP Art History course have the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both-while still in high school. AP Art History students are required to take the written exam in June.  

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