Joy, imagination, and creative self-expression characterize the experience of the visual arts program at St. James’. Students are invited to observe the world around them and to respond to it artistically. The beautiful and colorful results of their efforts capture their unique perspectives, as well as the gaze of anyone who walks through the school’s perennially decorated hallways.
The visual art program at St. James’ exposes students to historically significant works and artists from around the world and prepares and inspires them to create their own art. As they explore portraiture, landscape, the still life, and abstraction in a range of media, students learn about art elements and begin to develop their own visual vocabulary. In keeping with the culture of the school at large, St. James’ artists cultivate respect for each other and their diverse community. All students are encouraged to take creative risks in the studio, and different learning styles are respected and accommodated as students work both independently and collaboratively in the art studio. Annually, the St. James’ community celebrates the creativity of its young artists with a school-wide art exhibition.
As students progress through the curriculum, the investigation of art elements is reiterated and expanded upon. In the upper grades, a greater emphasis is placed on the principles of design and critical thinking. Classes come to the art studio once a week; there is also an opportunity for students to enroll in after-school enrichment visual art classes that are offered four days a week.
By Grade Level
3rd-graders take inspiration from works like Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic sculptures to create their own sculptures. They investigate form and spatial relationships and learn to repurpose discarded objects to achieve artistic goals. Other projects include watercolor paintings inspired by Grecian vases and also mixed-media "Wild Things.”