The 8th grade curriculum consists of Painting, Ceramics/New Media, Photography, Culinary Arts, and more. These courses teach greater facility in a range of media, techniques, and basic design concepts. The sequential assignments prepare students for a variety of high school art courses.
In Painting, students use gradations of color to create the illusion of volume on a flat surface. They work with a variety of media, using direct observation as well as imagination. They paint a cylinder in gradual values and transform it into an interesting composition. Next, they draw a pear under a single light source, using chalk pastel to suggest the volume. Other assignments include a torn paper collage of a pear, a mosaic of a pear, a painting of an object under a single light source, Sumi ink painting, a landscape painting, and a still life inspired by Giorgio Morandi.
Students learn how clay responds to their sense of touch and timing while building familiarity with a variety of construction techniques. The class emphasizes intensive instruction in wheel throwing. Through repetition, students learn to center, open, and raise simple cylinders. They also learn hand-building techniques such as pinch pots, coils, and extruded forms. Students learn a stop action clay animation technique on their laptops. While utility and function are often considerations of clay, sculptural explorations are also encouraged. Most assignments allow students to define the form and content of their studio investigations.
Photography introduces students to basic camera handling, film development, and darkroom printing techniques. Students also work with Adobe Photoshop, using the software to create several design-based assignments. Combining mixed media with photography, students experiment with hands-on techniques such as painting, collage, and sewing to alter their pictures.