This is a foundation level course designed to introduce the student to the history and studio practice of the visual arts. The art history survey will briefly cover major works from the ancient to postmodern eras while the studio component will aid the student to develop a clear understanding of the elements and principles of design through the exploration of a wide range of media, techniques, and subjects.

Instructor: Ms. Kapsos

Course Objective

This is a studio/art history course using various drawing, printmaking, painting, and 3D media and techniques as a means of exploring the form, as well as the creative potential, of still life, landscape, animal life, and the human form. This material will be covered in lectures, demonstrations, handouts, class discussions, and the production and presentation of student works. Topics of discussion will include:

·      creative application of the elements of art and principles of design

·      examples of contemporary and historical application of design in art

·      fundamentals of spatial illusion

·      compositional and expressive dynamics of 2D and 3D media

·      presentation and finish


Grading is based upon a careful evaluation of six components:

1. timely completion of each assignment (late assignments will be marked down five points for each day late)

2. evidence of clear grasp of the visual concept

3. technical mastery of the medium and technique

4. quality and improvement of creativity displayed in the finished work

5. evidence of clear knowledge, and understanding, of each period of art history studied, and the ability to contextualize that period in relation to those which came before and those which followed

6. risk-taking and experimentation in the sketchbook assignments


A – Excellent. Inspired growth and/or consistent excellence. Profound contribution to class discussions. Punctuality and appropriate class behavior. Regularly exceeds course expectations. A=93-100, A-=90-92

B – Very Good. Consistent high quality response to assignments. Active participation. Punctuality and appropriate class behavior. B+=87-89, B=83-86, B-= 80-82

C – Satisfactory response to assignments. Satisfactory attendance, participation, and behavior. C+= 77-79, C=73-76, C-=70-72

D – Minimum Passing Work. Unsatisfactory work and participation. Poor attendance and/or classroom behavior. D+=67-69, D=63-66, D-=60-62

F – No Credit. Failure to achieve the above. F= 0-59

Note: The primary purpose of an art course is to aid and reward artistic achievement. For this reason, students are encouraged to improve upon any project or assignment completed on time. Projects which are improved upon during the current grading period will be appropriately upgraded.

A grade will be awarded: for each project (both in-class and out-of-class); for each written assignment, quiz, and/or test; for the final portfolio presentation; and a grade for participation in projects and class discussions. The final grade will be arrived at using the following formula:

  • Projects and sketchbook                  40%                
  • Quizzes, tests, and portfolios          15%
  • Participation/progress/effort            20%
  • Classwork Reading and Written assignments 25%

Total: 100%


Because the knowledge and skills gained through the classroom experience are fundamental to all studio/art history endeavors, attendance of all classes for the entire scheduled period is expected. The final grade will be reduced to reflect excessive absences.

Plagiarism and Cheating Policy

Any student caught plagiarizing another artist’s/author’s work, or cheating on a project or test, will be disciplined in accordance with Key School policies.

Academic Integrity General Statement

Your academic and intellectual learning and growth, as well as your integrity as a person, require that all of the work you complete and present be a product of your own efforts. Presenting as your own work that is in any way the product of others’ efforts, or enabling any other student to do so, is a violation of academic integrity standards. This includes failing to properly document or cite others’ work. All such violations will result in serious disciplinary actions. These actions are among those reported to colleges during the college application process.

Classroom Behavior

Students are expected to respect the person and property of other students, instructors, and class visitors at all times. Disrespectful, disruptive, destructive and/or abusive behavior will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary action.

  1. Your participation and effort are graded daily. Don’t play games, work on other classes’ homework, or sleep in class.
  2. You don’t feel challenged enough tell me and I will work with your level.
  3. Be on time for class.
  4. NO FOOD in class.
  5. Be prepared for class. Have the necessary materials.
  6. Push your creativity and take artistic risks.
  7. Be a responsible digital citizen.
  8. I don’t expect you to agree with everything that is said or to appreciate every piece of art shared. I do expect you to respect each other’s opinions. This is a safe place for you to be yourself, so I do expect you to be constructive and considerate when contributing to conversations.
  9. This is your education, so take an active role in constructing it. Ask questions, soak it in, make connections, and be reflective.
  10. Have fun!

Classroom Policy for Technology:

1.  Students may not use any hand-held devices in the classroom (cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, etc.) without the explicit permission of the instructor. All hand-held devices should normally be turned off and packed away during class sessions.

2. The use of computers in the classroom is a privilege, not a right. Computers should be used for note-taking and image research/manipulation only. If computers are used for e-mail, game-playing, video-viewing, or checking social media (without the explicit permission of the instructor), the instructor may revoke the privilege of using a computer in that class.


Materials required for each assigned project will be provided as required. EACH STUDENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SECURITY AND MAINTENANCE OF HIS/HER OWN ART SUPPLIES, MATERIALS AND PROJECTS. Replacements for lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed materials and supplies may be purchased at the Key School bookstore or local art supply shops.

Textbook: Scholastic Art Digital Articles and Journal. This will be provided by your teacher.