South Orange County School of Arts
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Visual Arts

Department Overview

Art is conscious, human expression in visual form. It has been, is and will always be the means by which each culture records, expresses, and interprets the world around it. Art, as a visual form of communication essential to the understanding of and participation in our increasingly creative approach to life, is a significant and valued human endeavor.

Parallel to the philosophy of the South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA), we submit that art addresses the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual needs of our students. It promotes self-awareness, self-expression, and well being. Through the program, opportunities are presented to develop higher levels of thought and critical thinking skills.

The SOCSA Visual Arts program also offers unique and creative experiences which help to build student self-esteem. This aspect of study fosters the recognition and appreciation of differences among individuals and cultures. Art encourages inquiry, discovery, and wonder.

As it reflects and transmits its time and culture, art is a vital key to understanding the past and to realizing the future. Through such understanding and training, we believe the students will be better prepared to appropriately enter into a career in art, an institution of higher learning, or simply to make a significant contribution to the world of art.

Course Descriptions

Ceramics 1A, 1B

This course stresses techniques in clay forming and decoration by means of handbuilding or the use of a potter’s wheel. Emphasis is on design and decoration.

Advanced Ceramics

This advanced course provides the opportunity to further refine handbuilding and use of the potter’s wheel.

Drawing and Painting 1A, 1B

The student explores elements of design by manipulating a variety of materials and techniques.  Emphasis is placed on basic drawing and painting techniques.

Advanced Drawing and Painting

This course emphasizes the development of a personal technique, concentrating on observation, imagination, experimentation, and principles of color and composition. The student continues experimenting, researching, and developing a unique means of expression. Participation in school related projects or special independent projects is expected.

Photography 1A, 1B

This course teaches the fundamentals of photography: camera settings, developing film, and printing photographs in the darkroom. Some advanced techniques are introduced, such as filters, negative images, line prints, photograms, photomontage, sepia toning, and Sabattier prints.

SOCSA Photography

This course is designed for students who are interested in developing a professional portfolio to prepare for college art programs and careers in the fine arts. Students use both film and digital photography and regularly exhibit their work. They use professional equipment, such as studio lighting and photo editing software, to produce headshots and event photography for the SOCSA program.

AP Studio Art: 2-D Design

AP Studio Art focuses on the principles of design (unity, variety, emphasis, contrast, movement, rhythm, repetition, pattern, proportion, and balance). Students explore various 2-D media: collage, painting, photography, and printmaking. To receive college credit, students submit a portfolio to the College Board in lieu of an exam.