Visual Arts

For Updated Class Descriptions, please visit the SHS Guidance page here


Saratoga Visual Arts Department 
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Art 1

Grades 9-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC

Prerequisites: None

Course Description: This is an introductory course that covers the elements and principles of design, color theories and composition.  This two-dimensional art course explores beginning drawing and painting techniques.  In addition to creating art projects, students will also learn about different art movements, reflecting on how art affects our society.  No previous drawing experience is necessary for this course.


Art 2

Grades 9-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC

Prerequisites: Art 1

Course Description: This is an intermediate course that emphasizes the development of painting and drawing skills.  A variety of media will be used in creating realistic and abstract works of art.  Students will also have the opportunity to view works of art from established artists.  Art projects made in this course can be developed for inclusion in an art portfolio which could be used for application to an art college.


Art 3

Grades 11-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC, Applied Arts graduation requirement

Prerequisites: Art 1 & Art 2

Course Description: This advanced level course encourages students to develop a personal artistic style in creating original works of art.  Students are also encouraged to work in a variety of media.  In addition to producing art projects, students will critique their own work and that of other students.  This course emphasizes art production and art criticism.


Art 4 Honors

Grades 11-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, VPA and Honors for SHS & CSU/UC, Applied Arts graduation requirement

Prerequisites: Subject matter knowledge of elements and principles of design and strong skills in drawing and painting

Course Description: This course is designed for seniors who have a serious interest in art and are considering post-secondary study. It is an intensive course developed to strengthen studio skills and build a portfolio of artwork that can be used for post-secondary applications.


Drawing AP (was Studio Art AP)

Grades 11-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, AP for SHS & CSU/UC, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC, Applied Arts graduation requirement

Prerequisites: Art 3 & Art 4H

Course Description: This course accommodates serious art students who have expressed an interest in completing the AP Drawing Portfolio or the AP 20D design Portfolio. Through studio practice, application of design concepts and informed decision making, students will assemble a body of artwork that demonstrates a high level of quality and growth over time of content, technique, and process. Students will investigate all three parts of their portfolios as required by the AP College Board: Quality, Concentration and Breadth. All work will be documented throughout the year by digital photos.


Art History AP 

Grades 10-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, AP for SHS & CSU/UC, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC, Visual and Performing graduation requirement 

Prerequisites: Recommended World History

Course Description: This course is equivalent to a two-semester college survey course exploring the nature of art, art making, and responses to art. By investigating specific course content of 250 works of art characterized by diverse artistic traditions from prehistory to the present, students develop in-depth, holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students become active participants in the global art world, engaging with its forms and content. They experience, research, discuss, read, and write about art, artists, art making, responses to, and interpretations of art. 


Ceramics 1-3

Grades 9-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC, Applied Arts graduation requirement for Ceramics 3 only

Prerequisites: Ceramics 1: None, Ceramics 2: Ceramics 1, Ceramics 3: Ceramics 1 & Ceramics 2 

Course Description: Ceramics 1  is a studio course introducing students to methods of clay construction.  The first semester introduces students to tools and equipment in the studio, clay preparation, hand building techniques (pinch, slab and coil) and beginning skills on the potter’s wheel.  During the second semester, students will continue to improve their skills and techniques used on the potter’s wheel.   Students will use various tools to shape bowls, vases, mugs and cylinders.  Other topics covered are pottery decoration, glazing techniques and firing methods. Ceramics 2 and 3 will give students an opportunity to use their prior knowledge and experience for deeper and broader understanding of clay.  Students will continue to develop technical skills and will be challenged as artists creatively.  Students will be introduced to more complex concepts and vocabulary incorporating artistic perception, creative expression, historical/cultural context and aesthetic valuing, making connections and relationships to students interests and future career opportunities.  This class is a Visual Performing Arts requirement for entrance to UC/CSU system.


Media Arts 1

Grade 10

10 Credits

Fulfills: Applied Arts graduation requirement

Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in English 10 MAP and World History MAP

Course Description: This class introduces students to several multimedia fields including graphic design, video production, and broadcast journalism. Emphasis is placed on teaching students the fundamental principles of artistic composition in each field and the technical knowledge necessary to effectively use a variety of multimedia software and hardware systems. These include studio lighting, video recording and audio systems, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro. Class time will primarily be spent on project development and practice.

 

Media Arts 2

Grade 11

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC

Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment required in English 11 MAP section and a US History MAP section

Course Description: Media Arts 2 (MA2) is the second course in a sequence of elective courses required for the Media Arts Program (MAP). Taught in conjunction with English and History classes MA2 extends student learning beyond the basic content from Media Arts 1 and builds on the skills taught the previous year. Students will have the opportunity to explore multimedia learning through 6 major content areas:  Screenwriting/Scripting, Audio Recording/Editing, Documentary Film, Information Graphics, College/Experiential Learning, and Fiction Film. Class time will primarily be spent on project development and practice to create substantial material for their portfolios.


Digital Photography

Grades 10-12

10 Credits

Fulfills: College Prep, VPA for SHS & CSU/UC

Prerequisites: None

Course Description: This class is an exploration of digital photography, digital image editing, and fundamental photographic techniques. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to operate DSLRs and manipulate digital images using Adobe Photoshop. Students will gain an understanding of core photographic processes and concepts, use professional editing techniques to create original art, as well as view and discuss works by various contemporary photographers. The class will consist of photo assignments, critiques, discussions, and extensive lab work during class time. Students are encouraged to bring their own DSLR for this class.


Introduction to Digital Animation

Grade 9-12

10 Credits 

Fulfills: Applied Arts graduation requirement 

Prerequisites: Prior sketching and drawing experience

Course Description: With a focus on the Principles of Animation and storytelling, students learn the foundational artistic and technical skills of the digital animator. Using Adobe Animate and Wacom tablets, students produce a variety of projects ranging from model sheets to a collaborative animated short. In addition, students view and discuss works by various contemporary animators to gain insight into the creative process. While this is an introductory class, students should have some prior experience sketching and drawing in a digital or analog environment.


Multimedia Journalism (SHSTV) 1-3 & 4 Honors

Grade 9-12, Grade 12 only for 4 Honors

10 Credits 

Fulfills: College Prep, Honors at SHS & CSU/UC (4H only), Applied Arts graduation requirement

Prerequisites: Completion of previous level, or instructor approval

Course Description: Students will write, edit, design, and produce the school’s multimedia publication SHSTV. Emphasis is on writing, multimedia storytelling, and production design. Students will be given the opportunity to develop their skills in a variety of multimedia formats and will have the chance to create original news reports regularly broadcast to the entire school including streaming videos, mini-documentaries, investigative reports, in-depth feature stories, audio podcasts, and online reporting. Functioning much like the professional press, students will find a business atmosphere where they will become more innovative and more collaborative working with students of complementary strengths. Students will learn to tell stories in different ways depending on the attributes of the medium used and recognize the best medium for their publication, whether that be the web, broadcast, podcast, or more likely, a combination of the above.



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