The Visual Arts program at Portsmouth Christian Academy integrates the study of aesthetics, art criticism, art history, and art production. Students engage in making art, viewing and discussing art, reading and writing about art, learning about the context in which art has been created, and pondering fundamental questions about art.
Making art is central in the education of all students. In the early grades, art-making is a primary vehicle through which children can most fluently tell stories, relate experiences, fantasize, convey messages, express feelings and give ideas concrete form. But at any age or level of sophistication, making art involves a complex and integrative process through which students learn to observe, recall, find relationships, make choices, accept or reject alternatives, respond, value and make decisions.
In junior high art, we strive to challenge students both skillfully and creatively. Studio projects focus on both a specific set of skills, as well as highlight a particular artist or art movement. In their sketchbooks, students practice drawing, developing ideas and trying new things with weekly drawing prompts.
In the Upper School art courses, students engage these concepts at a deeper level and apply them to a more skill-based curriculum including observational drawing, photography, printmaking and design.
At PCA, perhaps the most important aspect of the art curriculum is the process it takes to get there. Problem solving, creative thinking and personal expression are skills that art education develops and that will serve each student long after the work is done.