Fine Arts

Our Philosophy on the Fine Arts at VES

There are opportunities for every student to participate in the fine arts at VES. Those who enjoy music join Glee Club, or Instrumental Ensemble, or take classes in music theory. Interested in drama? Participate in the fall play or spring musical, and learn about the technical and performance aspects of theater. Artists of all mediums can study the masters in art history or find an outlet in our studio art classes, and display their creations in the school gallery and hallways. Students with a real passion for the fine arts may take their talents overseas to Spoleto, Italy, and participate in the Spoleto Study Abroad Program, a month-long intensive fine arts workshop. Students are encouraged to share their talents in the weekly Fine Arts Friday assemblies.

At VES, discovering, nurturing, and showcasing student talent is paramount. Studio and performing artists on campus are featured at all major campus events. Studio artists enter local and regional art competitions, and performing artists perform on campus as well as regionally, and even internationally, when possible. The musical performance groups include Glee Club, and Instrumental Ensemble. The Drama department produces a fall play, winter one-act plays, and a spring musical each year.

Discover…Develop…Debut…find your place in the arts at VES.

Course Descriptions

Studio Art I
Studio I is a semester-long course for students in grades 9-12. This course examines art as media and criticism for the first year art student. Attention is given to creative thinking and problem solving skills. Beginning art students develop the ability to “read” and to use the Principles and Elements of design used by artists to communicate ideas. They develop an understanding of design principles in order to create art. A first year art student will become familiar with the vocabulary, the tools, and the media used by artists and designers as well as develop and understanding and an appreciation of art. Studio Art I requires no prerequisite.

Studio Art II
Studio II is a semester-long course for students in grades 9-12. This is an advanced art course in which students become more artistically creative and visually literate. Students who have completed Studio Art I may continue in Studio Art II where they work in two and three-dimensional works. This course contributes to students’ development in the four content areas of art production, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics. Students familiarized with this basic core of information have the opportunity to become more confident in their visual literacy and production of art. Studio Art II requires the prerequisite of Studio Art I or teacher assessment.

AP Studio Art
AP Studio Art is a full-year course for art students who have completed Studio Art I and Studio Art II. This course is designed to guide students in the creation of a portfolio which addresses three major concerns in the study of art:

  1. Quality- A synthesis of form, technique and content in the student’s work.
  2. Concentration- An in-depth investigation and process of discovery centered on a particular and compelling visual interest or problem.
  3. Breadth- A breadth of experience that exhibits serious grounding in visual principles as well as formal, technical and expressive means of the artist.

Formal visual concerns, technical skills, and conceptual issues are addressed through creative means in both teacher-directed assignments and student-directed projects. The creation of an AP Studio Art portfolio is an involved and personal process of discovery which is dependent on the students’ unique thinking and problem-solving skills. It is hoped that this course will not only help students to produce an excellent body of artwork, but will also introduce them to the richness of the creative process on a personal level, opening the door to personal discovery, and allowing them to make meaningful contributions to the greater culture. AP Studio Art requires the prerequisites of Studio Arts I and Studio Arts II or teacher assessment.

Ceramics is a semester-long course for students in grades 9-12. It enables students to recognize the properties and possibilities of clay by creating artworks using hand-building techniques. Development of technical skills and artistic vocabulary includes scoring, slipping, hand-building, slab, coil, and pinch techniques, bisque firing, painting, and glazing. Students learn to approach ceramic artwork as both functional and decorative sculptural objects. Project assignments stress craftsmanship, following the assignment guidelines, and creativity. Students participate in critiques in both individual and group settings. Ceramics requires no prerequisite.

Digital Photography
Photography is a semester-long course for students in grades 9-12. Students must have a camera. Digital Photography is designed to develop skills in pixel-based photographic design and printing. In this course students create, edit, post, and share their images electronically. VES provides the latest version of Photoshop. Students wishing to edit on their personal computers must purchase a one-year subscription to the Cloud. Field trips into the Lynchburg community happen frequently in this class. Digital Photography includes the ability to see, appreciate, and create self-expression through the lens and Photoshop. Students synthesize these elements to create a portfolio of work that reflects their newly developed skills. The assignments require students to think creatively and imaginatively, and encourage them to solve problems in an individual manner. Student participate in critiques in both individual and group settings. Art appreciation includes discussion of periods of photography and photographers styles. Digital Photography requires no prerequisite.

Video Production
Video Production is an introductory course into the world of movie making and the creation of successful video projects. Students learn the basic functions of video cameras, necessary terminology, video editing software on both PC and Macintosh platforms, and the basics of camera formats, including standard and High Definition. The class is structured around building a successful video project from the initial idea stage to the final product, including narrowing a topic, creating a storyboard and a shot sheet, writing a script, shooting creative video in a timely fashion, editing the video, and publishing the finished project.

Introduction to Music Theory
The objective of Introduction to Music Theory is to teach students the basic skills of reading and writing music. No prior knowledge of music theory is required. Students learn basic note reading in all clefs, rhythms, intervals, chord constructions, and aural skills. This course, or permission from the Chair of the Fine Arts Department, is a pre-requisite for AP Music Theory.

AP Music Theory
Advanced Placement Music Theory is an intense year-long course which focuses on mastering listening, reading, and writing music skills. Students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to complete successfully the advanced placement examination. The course of study includes the fundamentals of music theory and the application of those components through composition, ear-training, and sight-singing practice. Students learn to understand and respond to the structure of music intellectually, physically, and aesthetically.

Glee Club
Glee Club is a forty-voice choir that meets daily within the class schedule and provides students with a comprehensive choral experience. The choir performs weekly at chapel services and special events on and off campus. Repertoire includes sacred and secular choral music ranging from the Renaissance period through 21st century composers. A full year’s participation in Glee Club earns students two fine arts credits that count toward satisfying the graduation requirement.

Instrumental Ensemble
Instrumentalists can participate in this class to earn elective credit in the Fine Arts. One credit is earned for a year’s participation. Students must play at an intermediate level to register for the class. Instrumental Ensemble meets two days per week outside the class schedule and performs in fall and spring Parents’ Weekend concerts and in the Lessons and Carols service at Christmas.

Private Instruction
Private instruction in voice or instruments is available for an additional fee. Contact the Chair of the Fine Arts Department for additional information.

Contact Fine Arts Department

Debbie Burton
Director of Fine and Performing Arts
Phone: 434-385-3772

Jesi Thompson
Art Instructor
Phone: 434-385-3680

Honor. Rigor. Community. Relationships. Individual Attention.

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400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 | 434-385-3600