Art & Drawing
The Art Department aims for students to develop a visual language grounded in observational skills. At Waring, drawing and other media are used as vehicles to actively observe; that is, to intensify seeing and to represent objects in a way other than words. Through sketchbook practice, we connect the classroom to one’s personal experience of the world. As a student’s explorations are shared with peers and with the community, an atmosphere of trust is created, which in turn enables students to become more confident and to take risks.
At all levels of the program, we build habits and skills through sketchbook and in-class work. Low student-teacher ratios and a flexible curriculum allow for varying learning styles, as do discussions, presentations, visual aids, handouts, demonstrations, visual “notecards,” and readings. Drawings are frequently printed in Le Temps Retrouvé the student newsletter, and other school publications.
Grades 6 & 7
Sixth and seventh grade students work with fundamental drawing concepts and skills. Motor skills are developed through sequential projects in a variety of media. In Grades 6 and 7, the Art program builds observational drawing skills, fosters expression through the visual image, develops a relationship with the sketchbook, and explores art materials through various projects. Drawing exercises identify simple shapes as a road to understanding more complex forms. Using primarily black and white media, students practice drawing contour, proportion and value. Regular critiques allow for sharing ideas, examining the work of others, and building a vocabulary and ease in evaluating artwork. Sketchbook assignments support concepts and techniques that are explored in class.
In eighth grade, students expand their drawing vocabularies, working primarily in black and white media, though occasionally with clay and other materials. In ninth grade, the scope of materials and the complexity of drawing assignments are increased, with the goal of solidifying basic drawing skills. Tenth grade works primarily with paint and tackles the problem of color, while grades eleven and twelve choose from different media each semester for an in-depth experience: these may include ceramics, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and/or photography.