Discover why AHA is a magnet school for fine artists. Find confidence to create beauty and celebrate your individuality in a fine arts program based on the belief that each student has unlimited potential. As a student in the Academy’s art courses, you will explore and master traditional and experimental media and techniques in painting, drawing, design, photography, and sculpture. You will be encouraged to share your individual interpretation of subjects and observation from life, and develop your personal expression, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving. Enjoy individual instruction in the studio environment and motivation through personal expression in group critiques. After four years of study in this area, you will have developed a competitive portfolio. Many AHA graduates go on to enjoy art as a rewarding life-long hobby or a career in architecture, fine art, art direction, and museum professions.
As you make art, you will develop essential skills in the formal elements of art and design and begin to understand the relationships of contemporary culture to the art of the past.
In our studio classes, you will participate in discussion, research, and reflection on historical influences and aesthetics.
Utilize computers to conduct research, create original works of art, and gain access to online museum image databases for the careful study of art and artifacts.
If you plan to pursue college-level study of world cultural history, you may take Advanced Placement Art History. This rigorous and rewarding course covers the relationship of art to the past. You will be challenged to make interdisciplinary connections and gain visual literacy skills.
Requirements: All students are required to take one quarter of Music Appreciation and one quarter of Art Appreciation in ninth grade. Sophomores are required to take a semester course in either art or music, and may elect another semester course in Performing Arts.
fine arts courses
Explore a variety of visual art media, while building foundational art skills. You’ll discover art elements, principles, and styles through projects that promote problem solving, risk taking, teamwork, and creativity. Express yourself through drawing, painting, and mixed media projects. Rubrics are introduced and critiques are conducted. (Grade 9) (Course # 8161)
What is art and why do we create it? Expand your voice, style, and growth as an artist through the exploration and investigation of various media, such as printmaking, painting, and three-dimensional materials. Gain an understanding of the versatility of materials and enhance your technical proficiency and visual expression. Become a better visual communicator and critical thinker through theme-based projects, in-class critiques, and written reflections. (Grade 10, 11 or 12) (Course # 8261)
Experience drawing through a formal approach of “learning to see.” Develop your perceptual abilities by drawing from life and drawing from memory. Learn to express contours, space, relationships, light and shadow, and proportions. You will explore a variety of media and be responsible for sketchbook assignments. (Grade 10, 11 or 12) (Course # 8271)
Gain confidence and technical skills in acrylic painting through still life, landscape, and observational studies. This course emphasizes formal elements of art, particularly the use of line, value, and color to create the illusion of space and light. Traditional and experimental techniques, including monochromatic painting, under-painting, glazing, and color theory are covered. You’ll complete a variety of representational and expressive paintings based on rubrics and grounded in art historical styles. Finish this course with a painting portfolio. (Grade 10, 11 or 12) (Course # 8861)
Color and Design
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors explore color theory and design concepts while considering the complexities of color. Participate in color-related experiments and group critiques while learning about color schemes, relations, and interactions. Become skilled in color matching and mixing through problem-based projects in painting and drawing media. Fashion/jewelry design will be addressed as one of six major projects based on rubrics. (Grade 10, 11 or 12) (Course # 8361)
Attain the visual language of commercial graphic design by solving a series of problems. Develop visual literacy by learning about typography, color theory, layout design, package design, illustration, and advertising. Design a logo, business card, greeting card, and point-of-sale unit. Experiment with traditional manual rendering techniques, including calligraphy and illustration, and get an introduction to Adobe Photoshop CS6 software. Group discussions and critiques allow you to share and “sell” ideas and learn creative problem-solving. This class meets in the state-of-the-art Mac Lab. Enrollment is limited to 16 students. (Grade 10, 11 or 12) (Course # 8361)
Develop a digital portfolio of design, technology, and art-related projects using Adobe Photoshop. Master tools and palettes for drawing and painting, manipulating layers, and creating borders; learn to use masks and filters; and integrate text and graphics for print production. Experiment with 3-D printing in conjunction with original designs, such as jewelry and architecture, in Google SketchUp. You will also hear more about overprinting, scanning, and photo retouching. Projects involve creative problem-solving, personal expression, exploration of art-related themes, and written reflections. Limit: 16 students per section. This course fulfills the graduation requirements for fine and performing arts. (Grade 10, 11, or 12) (Course #7801)
Expand your artistic voice by becoming proficient in multiple camera functions and post-editing techniques. Use Adobe Photoshop CS6 to process digital images and professional artist-quality prints. Sharpen your skills through technical and theme-based projects. Acquire an eye for subjects and composition. Projects are based on rubrics. Regular in-class critiques are implemented. This class meets in the state-of-the-art Mac Lab. Limit: 6 students. (Grade 10, 11 or 12) (Course # 6711)
Continue your studies of the art of digital photography. Theme-based projects highlight individual growth through a deeper examination of composition and aesthetic sensibilities. Use Adobe Photoshop CS6 to post-edit your photos and take a closer look at alternative processes with the digital and technological equipment. Meet in the state-of-the-art Mac Lab. Limit: 16 students. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 6721)
Studio Art I - Honors
Take a step closer to college-level art studies in Studio Art I – Honors. Focus on the creation and development of a portfolio; gain increased proficiency with various drawing, painting, collage, and printmaking media; and get an introduction to oil painting. Draw and paint from close observation of still life, nature, and the human form. Study several topics and themes, including the influence of contemporary artists and art theory on “making art.” Participate in group critiques and weekly creative sketchbook assignments. Students must have proficient drawing and painting skills prior to entering this course. The ability to work independently without constant supervision is essential for success in Studio Art I — Honors. Limited enrollment. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 8362)
AP Studio Art - 2D Design/Drawing
Enjoy an intensive version of Studio Art II in this course for serious, advanced art students who intend to pursue fine arts at the college level. Create a portfolio that fulfills the requirements of the AP Studio Art Exam. Sharpen your 2-D media skills, gain an understanding of formal and conceptual relationships, and further define your identity as an artist. Experience examples of conceptual and technical problems proposed by the AP Studio Art exam. This exam requires the completion of 20 art pieces, 15 of which must be based on a chosen concentration (theme). Participate in formal and informal group critiques and complete written reflections about your work. Students must commit to independent study, experimentation, and innovation without constant supervision. (Grade 12) (Course # 8474)
AP Art History
Experience a rigorous, introductory college-level course in art history from the early civilization to the postmodern era. Advance your understanding and knowledge of architecture, sculpture, painting, and other art forms within diverse historical and cultural contexts. Critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from a variety of cultures. Understand works in context with an eye toward patronage, gender, and the function and effects of art. Textbooks include the current edition of Gardner’s Art Through the Ages and Barron’s AP Art History. Prepare for daily class discussions; periodic quizzes, tests, and essays; one museum trip per quarter; and a spring field trip to a major museum. Limited enrollment. Priority is given to seniors. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 8464)
National Art Honor Society
The National Art Education Association launched NAHS in 1978 to inspire and recognize high school students who demonstrate an outstanding ability and interest in art. NAHS encourages members to attain the highest standards in art scholarship, character, and service, and bring art education to the attention of the school and community. AHA’s chapter is a service-driven organization for students in Grades 11 and 12. Projects include curating and installing winter and spring art shows at the Academy.