Looking at art, talking about ideas, presenting artwork, and working to realize one’s ideas is vital to the problem solving skills girls need to be successful. The art department fosters and nurtures these skills in our girls.
The lower school art program focuses on the exploration of the fundamentals of art. Individual projects are often coordinated with appropriate academic curriculum, promoting a better understanding of students’ academic studies. Using two and three-dimensional materials, students exercise and develop crucial manual and technical skills. A positive climate is provided for growth of self-confidence, self-esteem, and creativity.
The middle school art curriculum explores two and three-dimensional processes through a wide range of artists. Students experiment with drawing, mosaics and relief printmaking, gain an understanding of spatial relationships, as well as concept building and creative problem solving to build a strong understanding of atmospheric perspective, positive negative space, color theory, and elements of design.
The upper school art curriculum is modeled after a college art foundations program. Focusing on drawing skills and design theory, we work through visual problems in charcoal, pencil, ink, watercolor, and acrylic paint. Then we explore proportion, figure/ground relationships, variety, unity, and focal point in three-dimensional design problems, using wire, cardboard, found objects, and clay. Juniors explore contemporary concepts and mixed media, working through higher-level problem solving skills to help them develop visual literacy and leads them to the final exhibition year. Seniors create works of art that explore personal expression while demonstrating knowledge of visual elements and principles of design.
Art is an integral part of the McGehee experience. We value art and its ability to engage the community. This helps the girls see how art and its context can spark a dialogue. It also fosters their self-esteem as they see their artwork on display. The school’s main gallery space is in the student center, however, art fills the school’s hallways and library. The exhibitions in the student center rotate throughout the year to promote each grade level and their accomplishments.