Old Orchard students and faculty love art in all of its forms. In younger grades, students have art as a regular part of their weekly program, while other students have one or more terms each year. Across all grades, art is woven into the curriculum with special hands-on projects that may involve visual arts, computer arts or music. Sometimes, all of the arts come together. Starting with our youngest grades, students learn about Art History, trying out techniques first pioneered decades and even centuries ago. Pop in to our classrooms and you will quickly see why visitors repeatedly ask, "The students did that?" Yes, they did.
All Lower School grades take visual art as a class and have art projects woven throughout their academic studies.
The Visual Arts program progresses from structured projects designed to encourage younger students to dive in and explore form, color and different media, to instruction in more formal drawing and painting techniques. In increasingly sophisticated lessons, students are also shown the work of well-known artists throughout history, taught how to look at and interpret these works, and how to put them into the wider context of art history.
Different grades complete special projects each year that culminate with stand-out art projects. For example, First Graders compose and deliver speeches inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and complete a painting that envisions him delivering his own "I have a Dream Speech." Second Grade does a unit on Dr. Seuss and completes it with three-dimensional sculptures inspired by the author's many imaginative creatures.
Upper School (Grades 6-8)
In Visual Arts, offerings vary from year to year depending on the size and interests of different grades. Offerings always include painting and drawing using different media, such as oils, pastels and watercolors, and may also include sculpture, block-prints, etching and more. Visual Arts also embraces digital media, including digital movie making and digital photography, animation, 3-D modeling and more. Students may expand their skills by signing up for yearbook, which allows them to experience the entire publishing process from taking photos and making illustrations to laying out pages.