Visual Arts

“In this world, there is a place of importance for every artist. We all donate to the variety of creation in the world.” (Rosalie Hein)

The Prep art studio is a place for creative discovery, active participation, careful observation of visual elements of design in all that surrounds us and a place in which to develop skills of creative expression.

Boys join the specialist visual art programme in their Grade 3 year, and continue working in the studio until the end of their Grade 7 year. This allows each boy to build a wide repertoire of skills in using art tools and materials, as well as to develop visual sensitivity and appreciation for artworks, both classical and contemporary. Careful visual observation is the cornerstone of design success, and boys grow in their response to subtleties of colour, light, shade, texture, form and composition. Inspiration is drawn from the natural environment, man-made structures, cultural artefacts, various materials and specialised techniques.

The basic skills of drawing and painting are developed successively within each grade programme. In addition, Grade 4 boys explore an extensive theme on fibre arts, incorporating weaving in many different variations. Grade 5 boys enjoy exploring the many possibilities for expression offered by working with clay. Grade 6 boys cover a unit on fabric painting and another on print-making.

Grade 7 learners work extensively with mixed media, which may include mosaic techniques, paper sculpture and fabric collage elements. The themes are constantly changing, so that each art semester provides boys with a new challenge.

Respect for tools and materials, as well as the responsibilities which come with the sharing of a common working space, are part of the learning process. Boys learn to persevere and to see positive opportunities in experimentation.

The ethos in the art studio is supportive and cooperative. Boys are guided and assisted when necessary, but are also permitted to develop very individual responses to the theme. No artwork is produced along a “pattern” concept; each child interprets the challenge in his unique way. All work which is produced as a genuine result of best effort is appreciated and valued.

Visual art teaching is about challenging boys to look at the details in their surroundings, to extend their response to examples of visual art, to encourage the development of new skills, to develop a vocabulary to discuss visual design and to learn to trust their own innate expressive abilities.

It is both a pleasure and a privilege to guide boys in our school studio in the process of discovering their own creativity.