Visual Art at St Alban’s College starts in Form 1 as a chosen Module. In Form 1 and Form 2 we focus on laying down the basics in creative thinking and the implementation thereof in actual artworks. At this level, we concentrate mainly on drawing and painting to establish the basis for further development in the senior forms. We also focus on art-theory related to the elements and principles of art. Visual Art in Form 1 and 2 is about having fun in a creative context while learning new and interesting skills. Visual Literacy also makes up a big part of the Form 1 and 2 syllabus. It is a skill that teaches one to read and interpret visual imagery and is of great importance in a world where so much relies on visual communication. Visual Art as a subject provides a creative environment and a great opportunity for the art student to improve his self-confidence and to intensify his awareness of the visual world that surrounds him.
Art in classes
In the senior classes (Forms 3 to 5), Visual Art consist of two main components: Practical Art and History of Art. The practical component builds on the foundations laid down in Forms 1 and 2. Assignments are still focused on technical skill development but, in addition, conceptualizing, expressing individual ideas and perceptual thinking become important components of each art student’s creative growth. The opportunity to work with various media allows the art students to experiment and explore new and exciting genres in their art.
History of Art starts
History of Art starts (in Form 3) with Pre-history and covers the full history of art concluding with Conceptual Art and South African Art (in Form 5). It forms a pivotal part of the senior syllabus and relates directly to the practical component of the subject. The two components work hand-in-hand to accomplish each student’s creative development. Visual Literacy also makes up a substantial part of the Form 3 to Form 5 syllabus.
Termly exhibitions in the art room display the students’ works and provide a way in which the students can show who they really are. The Matric students have two important exhibitions throughout their final year: The ultimate, much anticipated, exhibition of the Form 5 work, in October, is a significant event on the school calendar.
Visual Art is so much more than just a subject. It is a wonderful journey of self-exploration and personal growth and, as such, is priceless. It allows pupils to explore, learn and create. It is a magical subject and a worthy journey!