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Visual Arts       


The Visual Arts Department cultivates active engagement between students and the natural and man-made world surrounding them. We help students develop a way of observing the world, a language to describe it, and means for expressing it through the Visual Elements and Principles of Design.

We encourage creative problem-solving and critical thinking in the following areas:

  • Creation of artworks
  • Interpretation and judgment of artworks
  • Development of personal themes in artworks

 

It is our hope that intentional, constant practice in creative problem-solving and critical thinking in the visual arts promotes a culture of practicing these habits in all areas of students' lives at Midland. We see the participatory trial-and-error approach in art as a metaphor for developing skill and comfort in the lifelong processes of expressing ourselves and trying things out, learning from experiments that don’t work, and honing our skills towards things that do work.

Our advanced classes elaborate and expand upon these skills, placing heavier emphasis on student independence and the development of personal themes in artwork.

Midland’s art program, which draws materials and inspiration from the natural world, embodies the idea that the essential ingredients of learning are a student and teacher working together to cultivate a sense of aesthetic and personal expression.

 

Essential Skills:
Through studio-based teaching strategies, portfolio-based assessment, and our use of Midland’s incredible property, which provides both physical resources and inspiration for student art, we develop the following skills in each of our students:

Creation:

  • Manipulation of media in a manner that expresses understanding of the Visual Elements and Principles of Design and the technical issues related to the media being used
  • Solving visual and conceptual problems related to specific assignments
  • Applying a high level of craftsmanship and exerting a strong effort in the creation of artworks

 

Interpretation and Critical Thinking:

We analyze and talk about:

  • Artworks in a manner that reflects understanding of the visual elements and principles of design and the media being used
  • Artist intention
  • Cultural relevancy
  • Historical nature and place of artwork within a timeframe

 

Personal Development:

  • Recognizing strengths and preferences in regard to certain techniques and media and applying them to works of art
  • Identifying themes, design skills, images, and symbols that are personally relevant and applying them to works of art

 

Performing Arts

Midland's Performing Arts Department seeks to engage students both musically and dramatically. Currently, credit offerings include Chorus and Theater, while non-credit opportunities abound. Both with and without faculty guidance, students perform at assemblies, in Chapel, at coffee house events on campus, and during Alumni/ae and Parent weekends, Thanksgiving, and graduation.

Our goal is to practice and cultivate creative self-expression, through which self-confidence and community involvement grow. The Performing Arts Department emphasizes organic creative processes that rely on voices, instruments, words, and messages, which can only be communicated through performance. Aligned with Midland’s mission and using the simplest of resources, students are encouraged to direct and generate their own ideas for performance in addition to taking part in faculty-led presentations. The act of preparing for and enacting a performance enhances creative thinking and problem-solving skills essential to success in all areas of life at Midland.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS:

  • creative self-expression
  • confidence building outside of the classroom
  • effective teamwork
  • active listening
  • alternative communication methods
 

Living Midland's Mission


Midland’s art program, which draws materials and inspiration from the natural world, embodies the idea that the essential ingredients of learning are a student and teacher working together to cultivate a sense of aesthetic and personal expression.


 

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5100 Figueroa Mountain Road/PO Box 8, Los Olivos, CA 93441 | ph: 805-688-5114 | admissions@midland-school.org

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