The Masters School’s visual arts program invites all students into the practice of using discovery, experimentation, risk-taking, critical thinking and collaboration as a means to engage visually. Through experiences and ideas; using a variety of materials, tools and techniques; and by creating strands of learning from grades 5 through 12, we encourage respect, perseverance and responsibility in learning and developing new ways of seeing, speaking and knowing.

The goal of the visual arts program is to have students develop the creativity, imagination and necessary technical skills to practice art as a vital means of communication in our highly visual culture, in communities both local and global. We have a faculty of practicing artist educators and New York City readily available as a primary resource.

Middle School

The Middle School visual arts program provides a creative environment in which students explore visual communication in two-and three-dimensional forms. They gain hands-on experience with a broad range of materials and techniques while working on projects designed to develop craft as well as cognitive skills related to thematic grade-level investigations.
 
Students work in a variety of artistic disciplines including drawing, painting, photography and sculpture, and they learn and use the elements and principles of design as they explore their creative potential. The students keep art journals to monitor their progress throughout the year, and assessments are based on effort rather than ability level. Our goal is for our visual arts students to develop and expand their artistic voice while gaining a better understanding of self and their relationship and responsibility to the world community.

Middle School Courses

List of 4 items.

  • Fifth Grade

    Students begin their year working on drawing skills in a variety of media. In-class art projects include studies in line, shape and value. Subject matter ranges from still life to figure drawing and self-portraits. Drawing assignments continue throughout the year in which students are to draw real three-dimensional objects as well as subjects from their imagination. Students visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art to explore the ancient Egyptian art and Greek art halls. A yearlong, collaborative project follows, incorporating visual art with history, creative writing and music. Students write scripts on ancient cultures in their humanities classes and transform their scripts into an opera in music class. In their visual arts class, they create rod puppets of their characters as well as backdrops and props. They then rehearse for their performance. This interdisciplinary project allows students to explore a variety of media in the visual arts while learning various skills and techniques along the way. Areas of art explored, but not limited to, are: art history, design, drawing, color theory, painting, sculpting, sewing and performance with puppets. At the end of the school year, the students perform their original puppet opera for their parents and teachers.
  • Sixth Grade

    Sixth grade students begin their year developing drawing skills in a variety of media. Drawing assignments continue throughout the year in which students are to draw real three-dimensional objects as well as subjects from their imagination. Subject matter ranges from still life to figure drawing and self-portraits. To enhance their grade-level thematic focus on the Hudson River Valley, students study the Hudson River School of Art by taking a visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art American Wing or the Hudson River Museum. Here, they are able to experience actual paintings made by the landscape artists of the mid to late 1800s. Back in the studio, the students create their own watercolor landscapes inspired by these artists. Other projects students have explored include the creation of a hand-sewn quilt while studying American folk art, designing a presentation for a site-specific sculpture at the Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park, or becoming an expert on one of the many fishes found in the Hudson River and then making a to-scale fish puppet. 
  • Seventh Grade

    During the first trimester, students learn one-point perspective and how to draw common geometric forms in perspective (such as the cube, the cylinder and the sphere.) In the second trimester, the class focuses on design, function, development and team work. In a collaborative effort, students design an object using the forms studied in the first trimester. They create sketches and drawings, write a description or an artist statement, and finally, build a sculpture or a prototype of the object. Each team is assessed on its ability to manage tasks and conflicts within the group, and its ability to create an inclusive and harmonious group. During the third trimester, the students make paintings with acrylic paint. We ask students to think about who they are and what lives within themselves that they wish to express. The style of the paintings may be surreal, abstract or representational. Throughout the school year, seventh grade students create a visual journal of their learning experience at school.
  • Eighth Grade

    Students begin their year developing drawing skills in a variety of media. In-class art projects include studies in line, shape and value. Subject matter ranges from still life to figure drawing and self-portraits. In the fall, students also study photography. They take a class trip to Philadelphia, capturing images at historic sites that have thoughtful content and composition in a triptych format. Back in the classroom, they create a 30-second video presentation using their photos and music. They then write artist statements to explain their work as it relates to their yearlong theme of American identity. Eighth graders also learn how to use one-and two-point perspective drawing techniques to give the illusion of depth to their drawings. They first learn that linear perspective was devised during the Italian Renaissance. Using the same rules as the master artists of that time, students practice drawing landscapes and cities, and then interior spaces. The final project is to design and draw a room that they would like to spend time in that is rendered in one-and two-point perspective. Finally, a collaboration with arts and humanities occurs in the last portion of the year. Students divide into rock band groups in their music class. In visual arts they learn to brand their music group by creating a band logo, a concert poster, an album cover and a group band photo. The year culminates with the students curating and displaying their visual artworks in an Eighth Grade Arts Expo. The student bands also perform their original rock songs, poetry and other original works at this event.

Visual Arts News

List of 7 news stories.

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