Academic Program
Middle School

Visual Arts

Visual Arts

The Middle School Visual Arts Program in Grades 5 through 8 is designed to ensure that students retain the aesthetic sensibility and the love of art-making as they develop through adolescence. The art curriculum allows students to explore different subject areas and mediums through projects that help them foster their personal expression and technical mastery. It also ensures that each student feels equipped to express their voice, appreciate their mistakes, and take creative risks.

Middle School Visual Arts Curriculum

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 5

    The Grade 5 curriculum focuses on two-dimensional art with an emphasis on color, design and composition through a variety of projects. Students experiment with color and pattern in painting, drawing, collage and stitchery.
  • Grade 6

    In Grade 6, students develop personal imagery and visual vocabulary in two and three dimensions. Projects emphasizing experimentation and exploration offer students the opportunity to work with a variety of materials, including paint, pastel, wire, paper-mâché, and found objects.
  • Grade 7

    The Grade 7 curriculum combines skill-building with open-ended prompts allowing students to express themselves authentically and confidently. Projects engage students in exploring various mediums and techniques related to drawing, painting, sewing, sculpture and collage-making.
  • Grade 8

    Grade 8 art classes are divided into semester-long courses allowing for students to study two of the following mediums:
    Students acquire an understanding of the basics of traditional darkroom photography by constructing and photographing with pin-hole cameras—additionally, students experiment with alternative photographic processes such as photograms, chemigrams and lumens.

    Students acquire the fundamental skills of ceramics hand-building and gain a historical and cultural understanding of clay through presentations and discussions.

    Students explore various printmaking methods in two and three-dimensional forms allowing for multiple reproductions with conventional and unconventional tools and materials.

Explore Our Curriculum

A K-12 independent school in New York city, The Spence School prepares a diverse community of girls and young women for the demands of academic excellence and responsible citizenship.


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