Advice Column, Education, Parenting, Tween & Teen

Choosing Visual Arts in High School

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Visual Arts at high school level offers a multi-disciplinary programme that trains the hand and the eye, while engaging the intellect and the imagination in conceptualising and creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks.     This subject is about self-expression and helps students to engage meaningfully with, and respond to, their world in a non-verbal way. Students come into the art lessons often with a sense of relief, where they can be themselves, talk about all sorts of things and feel safe to do so. 

Arlene Brown, Visual Arts Teacher at Abbotts College Claremont mentions that as teachers, we cherish the opportunity to engage with young minds and help them shape their individual visual language and style. The innovative use of materials and technology is encouraged and exposure to new platforms in the arts is part of our general teaching. Ongoing and direct research into the field of Visual Arts is one of the joys of teaching this subject, as the parameters are boundless. 

Visual literacy and the study of past historical movements and artists up until the present, inform and shape students’ understanding of visual culture. We live in a visual world, and are bombarded by imagery, from Instagram to YouTube videos, Netflix and the like. Choosing Visual Arts is as much about making sense of this world, as it is about following a career path in Visual Arts.

The list of careers supported by the Visual Arts is vast, such as architecture, film, fashion, curating, historical research, interior design, photography, event design and more. Understanding art is valued in other professional fields as well, such as medicine and engineering. Artists think creatively, have developed a set of problem-solving skills, and have a compassionate, empathetic approach to life.

Written by: Arlene Brown, Visual Arts Teacher at Abbotts College Claremont

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