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Greetings from the Fine Arts Department!
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Introduction

The Fine Arts department at Thomas Edison High School provides students with a variety of artistic opportunities that can fulfill their two-semester fine arts requirement. These courses will help students develop a range of 21st century creative skills. In addition to beginning, intermediate and advanced level coursework, there are many exceptional opportunities available for students including: Art-a-Whirl; Viva City (downtown library) art show; Yearly mural projects; Artist Residencies, and field trips to museums and local art galleries/studios.

Questions about our department or inquiries about materials donations can be directed to Visual Arts Insturtor and Dept. Chair, Rachel Hoemke: Rachel.Hoemke@mpls.k12.mn.us

Check out more info about curriculum and see examples of student work/performances at the very bottom of this page. 

 

Course Offerings

 

Drawing and Painting 1

This semester long course focuses on developing students' foundational skills in both drawing and painting. In the first quarter, students will gain skill in rendering  realistic drawings utilizing a wide range of materials, such as pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, pastel, and pen. The second quarter will focus on developing skills using watercolors and acrylic paints. Finding personal style and developing artistic preferences is encouraged here. This course is also heavily focused on building students' creative thinking skills and artistic work habits. We will do this  through discussion, sharing of work, written reflections, design planning, and practicing classroom procedures as a community. Students will leave this class with the skills needed to create drawings and paintings independtly and confidently. 

 

Drawing and Painting 2

This semester long course focsues on developing more advanced skills in both drawing and painting. Though still technically focused, each project will introduce students to a specific style of art or art movement that will further assist students in developing their own personal styles. By participating in more in-depth discussions, critiques, and reflective exercises, students will have a more authentic and full understanding of the past and present Art world. By the end of this course, students with leave with the necessary skills to create art, seek out resources, and discuss topics within the Arts independently and confidently. 

 

Ceramics 1

This is a semester long course that focuses on recognizing, describing, and creating artworks in clay. You will be writing about and discussing artworks created by yourself, artists, and peers using knowledge and understanding of the topics studied. Through inquiry-based learning we will be investigating art making techniques. You will be expected to use content specific language when communicating your understanding of visual art throughout this course. We will focus on justifying artistic decisions and art creation techniques using effective reasoning both orally and in writing. Throughout the learning process you will have time to practice applying vocabulary and technical skills. You will reflect on your artwork and artistic decision making. 

 

Ceramics 2

Advanced Ceramics 2 is a semester long course that focuses on continued development of ceramic hand building techniques, and includes a greater emphasis on wheel throwing techniques. You will be writing about and discussing artworks created by yourself, artists, and peers using knowledge and understanding of the topics studied. Through inquiry-based learning we will be investigating art making techniques with a greater level of independent learning and personal choice. You will be expected to use content specific language when communicating your understanding of visual art throughout this course. We will focus on justifying artistic decisions and art creation techniques using effective reasoning both orally and in writing. Throughout the learning process you will have time to practice applying vocabulary and technical skills. You will reflect on your artwork and artistic decision making. 

 

Media Arts

This class is an introduction to a variety of materials or “media”!  There will be a wide range of independent projects such as embroidery, zine making, illustration with colored pencil, and cardboard sculptures.  Principles of Art and Design will be covered within the context of art making.  Students will acquire the vocabulary and technical skills specific to each medium, and work as artists do:  planning, experimenting, revising and self-evaluating.  As the semester progresses, students will participate in small critiques, cultivating their evaluative skills.

 

Art and the Community

In this introductory class, we will focus on the idea of collaborative and public art to fulfill the Thomas Edison mission statement. We will achieve this by reaching out to artists in the community and school, offering fresh opportunities for our students to work with each other and working artists in the Northeast area. The community work will accompany instruction in the foundations and principles of 2 and 3-dimensional art. This will encourage Thomas Edison students to express themselves inside and outside of traditional media both independently and collaboratively by working on school-wide art projects, collaborative installations, and paintings.

 

Art and the Environment

This class is a hybrid of Art and Science.  We will focus on environmental issues such as global warming, climate change, social justice and political influence, and students will create artistic responses to topics covered. We’ll work with a variety of materials including chalk pastels, acrylic paint, and clay.  In this course we’ll have several community experts visit our class and we will spend a significant amount of time outside.

 

IB Art (Visual)

This is a two year course designed for students with previous experience (beginning and intermediate coursework completed) in visual and/or graphic arts. Over the course of two years, students will work more independently on self-designed projects using any materials available. Year 1 of this course focuses on building students' portfolios, documenting artistic processes according to IB assessment criteria, and developing work that is cohesive and theme-based. Year 2 will further explore these areas with the added tasks of developing a comparative study of personal artwork and art historical examples, and preparing and presenting work for an exhibition at a professional gallery. Though art making is at the heart of this course, students should also expect more writing intensive curriculum. 

 

IB Music

This course is designed for students who have previous experience singing in choir or playing in band. Students should have a desire to write music, write about music and learn about new music cultures. This course is not a music making ensemble, but presents a challenging academic setting.  Each student will is also expected to simultaneously participate in Concert Band or Advanced Choir.

 

Advanced Choir

This course is designed for advanced singers who have previous experience singing in choir, who desire to be artistic as study music in a challenging academic setting.  Each student will continue to acquire and practice healthy vocal technique, as they prepare for performances each quarter.
 

Beginning Choir

This course is designed for ANY STUDENT who wants to try singing in choir. Every day, students will sing and learn about music from many different cultures and music genres.  Each student will learn and practice healthy vocal technique, as they prepare for performances each quarter.

 

Guitar

For beginning to advanced players. Skills learn include: reading music, learning notes on every string, playing melodies and chords, strumming, tuning your own instrument, and much more! Semester-long course.

 

Beginning Piano

For beginning to advanced players. Come learn how to play an accessible instrument on our very own brand new pianos!  You will learn how to read music, play on different parts of the piano, play both melodies and chords and perform music that you enjoy. Semester-long course.

 

Advanced Piano

This is for students who have taken the Beginning Piano class or have had experience with piano lessons before.

 

Jazz Band

For students with previous experience on a musical instrument. Students will perform in a Big Band setting, and learn how to play in the style of blues, jazz, swing, funk and much more. Two (2) Semesters/Year-long course. Rehearsal is before school Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:20-8:05 A.M.

 

Beginning Band

For students who have never played a band instrument before or for those who played an instrument a long time ago but wish to start again or start on a different instrument. With the help of the director, students will pick an instrument that they will perform on over the course of two (2) semesters/one year. It is the expectation that students will continue to Concert Band the following year after an entrance exam.

 

Concert Band

Students who have played a band instrument for a year or more are welcome to join Concert Band. Students will interact with various genres of music, perform at different venues and do a lot of performing. Students will also interact with many guest artists. Two (2) Semesters/Year-long course.

 

Beginning Drum Line

Instrumental ensemble with the focus on performing and Developing drumming skills on different instruments. Students will learn how to music, learn different sticking skills and proper drumming techniques. Multiple performance opportunities are a must in this ensemble. Two (2) Semesters/Year-long course.

 

Advanced Drum Line

Students who participated in Beginning Drum Line or have previous percussion experience are welcome to join Advanced Drum Line. Students will prepare cadences along with choreography for particular events. Students will interact with various guest artists and perform at different venues. Two (2) Semesters/Year-long course.

 

String Orchestra

A new ensemble this year, String Orchestra is for all levels of musicianship String instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass). Students will interact with various  genres of music, perform at different venues and do a lot of performing. Students will also interact with many guest artists. Two (2) Semesters/Year-long course.