SWHS Visual Arts Curriculum
Our hope is not necessarily to create a school of artists, but to provide artistic opportunities to students so they learn to see the world in different ways.
The Visual Arts Curriculum at the Seattle Waldorf High School fosters skills that support student creativity and craftsmanship – building skills in both artistic creation and artistic literacy. Each year students study both fine arts (watercolor, pastel, charcoal, oil) and practical arts (stone carving, woodworking, metalsmithing, ceramics). The elements of observation and exploration are encouraged through various materials and themes.
Why do students do a Senior Portrait?
The Visual Arts Curriculum at Seattle Waldorf High School culminates in grade 12 with a self portrait in oil paint on canvas. This process builds upon students’ prior work with figure drawing, paintings from observation, and copying works from master artists. The question “Who am I?” is at the core of this project. Students are introduced to oil painting and working with a limited palette as they explore and refine their techniques and observations. Classroom discussions and feedback occur on a regular basis supporting a lively, inclusive, studio environment.
Capacities and Skills Built
The studio becomes a space that both challenges and fosters skills that develop a sense of beauty and a deep sense that students can create something that is both beautiful and meaningful. It provides them with the opportunity to make an intention, potentially fail and have to rework and then succeed, often beyond their initial idea. These opportunities to work within a social setting, a studio, where other thriving artists are also working through their own challenges with specific deadlines, is dynamic and supportive. These experiences are like little seeds that will continue to grow in whatever area our graduates pursue. They are empowered with the idea that they can problem solve and draw upon the capacities they have learned through the arts in any area of study.