The visual art program is designed to build foundation skills in observational drawing, painting, sculpture, and design. Each year new techniques, materials, and challenges are introduced which build on the prior years’ lessons.


Freshmen and sophomores concentrate on materials, techniques and color theory. Juniors and seniors continue refining their skills and begin exploring concept driven art for self-expression and for addressing community needs. The goal of the visual arts department is to prepare students to go on to a fine arts college.


Code: JMW915
Materials and Techniques is a year long studio arts class designed to impart a foundation of skills and vocabulary which students will build on their entire career at JMW. We will focus on observational drawing of still-life objects. Still-life subjects will increase in difficulty as skills to express proportion, perspective, light and shade, and composition are mastered. Students will learn processes for positive block printing and intaglio printing as well as techniques for carved and modeled sculpture. Talking and writing about art will be required in critiques of student and professional work. All students will be provided with a sketchbook that will be collected every three weeks for a grade. The sketchbook is a place for exploration, spontaneity, and experimentation. Individual feedback will be given on each sketchbook entry.

Code: JMW916
Color and Anatomy will teach sophomore students to paint and create a foundation of knowledge of the human figure which will be elaborated upon in the junior year. The first half of the year will be devoted to color theory and painting in acrylics and watercolor. Still-life and master copies will be the subject as students learn to mix color, apply paint, and understand value. Students will learn investigative drawing by examining bones and learning human anatomy through lectures and study of the human skeleton. The second semester will be devoted to portraiture. This intense exploration is designed to get students over “face-fear” and will involve drawn, painted and sculpted heads.

Code: JMW917
Students will start the year taking advantage of the warm weather to try open-air painting, exploring the traditions of the impressionists. Students will learn to edit the immense detail and complexity of the outdoors to the essentials for communicating their personal experience. Students will go on to learn the rules of perspective and depict complex architecture and interior spaces. Midyear we will connect the anatomy learned in the sophomore year to the actual body. By the end of the section, students will be able to draw a believable figure in any position from their imagination or from life. The class will culminate in large scale painting where students will place the figure in an environment (interior or exterior).

Code: JMW 918
Senior year will begin with portfolio preparation for art college admissions. Once students have their admissions portfolios in order, we will explore the world of site specific art for the public. Students will design murals and sculptures for sites in the community. The process of writing proposals and budgets for public arts contests and grants will be covered. Students will learn techniques for creating scale models and enlarging and will work with guest artists who concentrate on public art. Students will work individually and in groups where teamwork and compromise are necessary to project advancement.



Ceramic Tile
In this course students will focus on the production of tiles for ongoing tile mural projects for the front of the building. Various printing and scraffito techniques will be taught. In addition to tiles, students will learn basic hand building techniques to fashion mugs, vases, and sculpture in clay.

Comic Illustration
Comic illustration will explore the art of story telling through sequential panels. Some history of comics will be taught as well as techniques for penciling, inking, and scripting. The second half of the class will explore animation, focusing on stop-animation and video editing in Final Cut Pro.

Art History
In this course students will learn about the continuum of art and civilization. We will focus on viewing art in context and learn what social conditions have driven various art movements. Students will develop their ability to write and speak about art through papers, presentations, and research.