Skills for visual expression are best cultivated when students are encouraged to approach their work with unbridled curiosity, creativity, and a flexible mind.
Students discover that they are artists in a wide variety of ways - in introductory arts workshops and painting and drawing classes, in the ceramics studio and the dark room. The Visual Arts Centre at Collegiate Schools houses sophisticated facilities, designed to nurture creativity in the budding artist.
As they investigate the basic techniques necessary to give artistic form to an idea, students also learn to understand visual art in relation to other disciplines - science, mathematics, literature, history, technology, and music. Regardless of their artistic abilities, every student gets the opportunity to personally experience, recognize, and appreciate the beauty of a line, the power of a brushstroke, and the harmony inherent in a well-formed bowl.
Visual Arts Centre brims with the works of young visual artists. Within these rooms at the centre, painters learn to use light, composition, and colour theory to improve their pieces. Ceramicists draw on the traditions of ancient Indian art, and contemporary periods as they learn how to turn clay into pottery. The drawing students explore the study of line, value, shape, and the illusion of depth, developing the techniques that help make drawn objects look real.
Students of all classes are provided with the opportunity to work across a broad range of processes, exploring the full potential of ceramic applications and sculptural techniques. The skills of making and thinking develop in tandem, resulting in exciting possibilities. As well as introducing students to a range of hand-built clay techniques, we also offer mould-making and slip-casting with precious materials like porcelain while more robust materials such as plaster are pushed beyond their conventional boundaries to suit the needs of individual students. Work ranges from exquisite low key installations to vibrant and expressive mixed media. Observation remains at the root of all three dimensional work produced in the department.
Collegiate Schools also offers a sophisticated woodworking program for students taking courses or for those simply interested in working with wood. Projects emphasize good design and craftsmanship and range from a simple box to - for advanced students - period pieces such as grandfather clocks. Our well-equipped woodworking shop features the basic hand tools and power tools needed in cabinetmaking. The aim of the woodworking program is to offer difficult and time-consuming work that will result in a significant, personal accomplishment.
Drawing is at the heart of all that we do in the Visual Arts Centre and in particular, drawing from direct observation. This invariably forms the basis of all projects from Class III through to the Class XII and provides students with a first point of contact with their subject matter. Drawings can be made in many different ways and to this end students employ a wide range of media. Of course drawings need not be made to serve an investigative or explanatory function as reference for further work; they can be works of art in their own right.
The paintings produced in the Visual Arts Centre encompass a wide range of approaches and functions from small, meticulously observed and finely wrought watercolour paintings to expressive mark making explorations using industrial materials that defy any category. A wide range of painting media is employed including watercolour, pastels, gouache, acrylic, oils and household paint - sometimes in exciting combinations. Students are encouraged to develop independent and personal work through experimentation with a wide range of materials.
All students are encouraged to be experimental in their work and use both photography and industry standard image manipulation software extensively. Whether developing ideas for work across all disciplines or the production of sophisticated exhibition pieces, the computer centre is available to all students. Digital Imagery studio in Visual Arts Centre is equipped with its own computers and scanners, and students have easy access to cameras and printers.
Computers are also used across the age range to assist research and development of Contextual Studies. Students are encouraged to develop good habits right from the start when it comes to the content and presentation of this critical work.
Time-based media, animation, film and video have become a natural and inevitable extension to our studio based work at Visual Arts Centre, combining outcomes from both two and three dimensional ideas. Collegiate School students are supremely adept at embracing new technology and have quickly become experts in harnessing its creative power. Whether it's a simple drawing-based stop-frame animation or an acutely observed high-definition study, students have access to digital cameras and video editing technology including the use of several studio-based computers with its own suite of moving image software.
The Visual Arts Centre holds two major exhibitions of students' work each year. The first, held in the first term, is an exhibition of 'Work in Progress' by students. This is an opportunity for each student to showcase their examination submissions, and gives parents, staff and faculty a chance to see what is involved in an examination project.
The exhibition in the second term comprises a selection of work produced by students across the age range at the Collegiate School. With an eclectic mix of drawing, painting, photography and three dimensional work as well as a huge array sketchbooks, it showcases the full diversity of what goes on in the Visual Arts Centre.
The department also takes several outstation trips where students from Class IX-XII get inspired by their experiences. Gallery visits are also a regular feature for secondary and higher secondary students, and we regularly take students from across the age range to leading art galleries in the nearby cities.