Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Department’s primary focus is to enable each middle school student the opportunity to experience the artistic process: design, produce, evaluate. This process will expand according to the student, the class, the medium and the teacher. A guiding consideration is that students in the Visual Arts classes may have as little as one semester of exposure to a particular offering. Within this limitation we intend each student to experience the following components of an Arts Education (distilled from the National Standards for Arts Education and the California Visual and Performing Arts Framework.) In light of the enrolment limitation, these are content-based components of Essential Understandings and not standards of ability/proficiency.

Along with Artistic Process as the primary Essential Understanding, Art as Communication is the second EU articulated by the department with the use of class critique, public space exhibits and gallery installations promoting student achievement and supporting authentic assessment of both the work and the student. That art is an integral part of human endeavor and essential for the growth of civilization requires that the work be seen, perceived and experienced: just as the definition of a sound requires an ear, art requires an audience. This fulfillment of the artistic process makes the cycle complete.

List of 1 items.

  • What a Grade 8 student will know and be able to do in visual arts:

    • Artistic Perception – Students will be able to recognize structures and their functions, vocabulary and grammar, elements and principles (Language Skills)
    • Creative Expression – Students will be able to create, produce, make-work by applying tools, techniques, and processes with an emphasis on technical proficiency, craftsmanship and literacy (Communication)
    • Historical and Cultural Context – Students will be able to understand and appreciate art from other times and places around the world and make connections between art and other disciplines (Breadth of Artistic Experience)
    • Aesthetic Valuing – Students will be able to analyze and evaluate, theorize and interpret, their own work and that of others with an emphasis on a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas (Critique)

Visual Arts Curriculum by Grade

List of 2 items.

  • Grades 6, 7, 8

    The objective of Middle School Art is for students to practice and develop creative thinking skills while learning a variety of art making processes. They experience the challenge and satisfaction of producing art which requires craftsmanship, thinking skills, as well as skills in painting and drawing. Media may include graphite, colored pencil, oil pastel, watercolor and tempera paint. Class discussions focus on learning the language of art and design.

    Students explore hand-built and wheel-thrown ceramic sculpture and pottery, developing greater technical skills as well as an awareness of their own artistic process. Students choose projects that are both challenging and reflect personal interests. The elements and principles elements of design, project management, critical thinking, problem solving and studio etiquette are emphasized. Cross-curricular projects with history, science and literature are encouraged.

    Woodworking offers students an interesting and challenging opportunity to design and construct projects of their own choosing that are appropriate to their skill level and the length of the course. Though skill building and learning the safe use of hand and power tools are at the very heart of the course, students are also challenged to commit themselves to a high standard of craftsmanship. Throughout the process of construction, students are faced with decisions that force them to exercise their critical thinking, problem solving and math skills as they design, lay-out, measure, and cut to exact size the materials needed for their projects. In addition to gaining useful knowledge and skills required in the realm of woodworking, students learn to appreciate the beauty and utility of wood and wooden products.

  • Grade 8 - Photography

    Teenagers live in a world of images: from the television and the Internet, to magazines and billboards. In this yearlong photography class Grade 8 students will learn how and why these images are made. Students will go from consumers of images to producers by creating imagery in a variety of traditional and nontraditional techniques and photographic mediums.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900