The visual art experience for Montgomery Academy students begins in Kindergarten and is sustained through the Twelfth grade. The four members of the Visual Arts faculty have a combined experience of 75 years in the classroom and operate as a vertical team with each level building upon the next. Emphasis in all divisions is placed on exploring a variety of media in context with contemporary and traditional artists at every grade level.
Our goal is for all students to enjoy and experience a wide variety of studio art media and processes which are focused on teaching the basic elements and principles of art. Our students’ hands-on art-making experiences help develop the early skills that support learning in all of their classes. Their visual art experiences are integrally linked to their entire lower school experience through well established programs such as the culture study, visiting authors/artists days, and tie-ins to the science and literature curriculums. Through their early and consistent exposure to art-making and the work of historic artists, our lower school students develop a deep appreciation for the visual arts which follows them throughout their educational pursuits.
In Middle School visual art, students have the opportunity to practice, develop and refine skills using a variety of art media. Each lesson is reinforced with the continuous study of the elements of art, principles of design, and mark making techniques, which improve each student's image making skills as well as their artistic vocabulary. Art history serves as an important part of this course in providing students with inspiration for their own work. Additionally, students are educated in the necessary skills of the critique where they must intelligently discuss and assess their peers' artwork as well as their own. Students are encouraged to submit their artwork to various competitions throughout the year including The Alabama National Fair Student Art Show, The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Corridor Exhibitions, District 2, Draw Montgomery Competition, and the annual FLIMP Festival Chalk Competition.
The Upper School curriculum builds on each student’s previous art experience as students choose from the extensive variety of course offerings. The Visual Art department provides experiences in drawing and 2D design, painting and mixed media, sculpture and 3D design, ceramics, printmaking, photography, and technology-related arts such as computer graphics and digital imagery. We also offer dynamic programs in AP Studio Art Portfolio in Drawing, 2D and 3D Design, and AP Art History.
Our students' art making skills are reinforced by creative writing experiences, development of art vocabulary, experiences in critique/art criticism, and the study of historical and contemporary artists. Classes are exposed to local and state-wide visual art opportunities by participating in off-campus trips to museums, galleries, special art events, and competitions. In addition, AP Art History students tour the museums of NYC each year.