Visual Arts

WT’s visual arts program in our middle school curriculum nurtures the capacity to make expressive forms. Students use elements of art to develop visual literacy by viewing the works of a particular artist, artistic period, or culture, and by using art as inspiration. Throughout the Middle School years, hands-on activities are supplemented with class discussions, presentations, visits from local artists, middle school electives, and visits to museums and galleries.

Sixth-grade artists draw, paint, print, sculpt, and work in collage throughout the entire school year. Working independently and in groups, they develop both collaboration skills and the ability to express individual ideas. Recent sixth-grade art assignments include:

  • Daily ten-minute sketching prompts
  • Observational drawings of Polaroid cameras
  • Pop-up collage monsters
  • Watercolor paintings of pollinators (collaboration with Science class)
  • Clay busts of two-dimensional characters
  • Mixed-media still life inspired by Pop Art and Cubism
  • Block printing inspired by Margaret Taylor-Burroughs

Artists in seventh grade further their creative endeavors and create two- and three-dimensional work in a wide variety of media. Students draw, paint, print, sculpt with clay and recycled materials, and derive inspiration from contemporary artists. Recent seventh grade art assignments include:

  • Daily ten-minute sketching prompts
  • Graffiti tags inspired by Lady Aiko, Shamsia Hassani, and Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Inspirational quote posters
  • Self-portrait stencils
  • Clay faces inspired by Kimmy Cantrell
  • “Selfless” Self-Portraits inspired by Amir H. Fallah
  • Assemblage with found objects (field trip to Construction Junction)
  • Miniature Sculpey Flower Sculpture

Eighth grade visual artists become more independent as they create artwork via pencil, pen and ink, plaster sculpture, screen printing, and spray painting. They explore personal interests through art, gain an understanding of traditional and contemporary artists, and refine their ever-evolving artistic skills. Recent eighth grade art assignments include:

  • Daily ten-minute sketching prompts
  • Stippled eye drawing inspired by Pablo Jurado Ruiz
  • Larger-than-life plaster sculptures
  • Group screen printing experience (field trip to AIR)
  • Color theory faculty portraits
  • Abstract spray painted sculptures