Visual Arts
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1610 E Emmaus Avenue
Allentown, PA 18103
Ph: (610) 351-0234
Fx: (610) 351-0307

Program Overview
Designed to integrate academic subjects in the arts classroom, the AACMS Visual Arts program develops our student artists’ technical skill in a variety of artistic media while studying the cultural and historical context of artwork from the past and present.  Extended class periods of 90 to 150 minutes give our teachers the flexibility to incorporate a wide array of projects into their instruction and give students the time necessary to explore their artistic passions.  

Each grade level focuses on specific types of artwork, with an emphasis on skill development and preparation for gallery presentations.  In addition to developing their technique, students learn how to write about and discuss artwork by studying art vocabulary and terminology, art history, art in popular culture, and current events in the visual arts.  Over their time at AACMS, students will expand their personal portfolio and learn to explain their creative choices.  

Fifth Grade
Visual Arts Workshop meet for a 90-minute period once each six-day school cycle.

During Visual Arts Workshops, fifth grade students learn basic Visual Art skills and vocabulary.  The course encourages students to connect their work in the visual arts to their academic studies with projects aligned to the academic curriculum.  The Visual Arts Workshops also collaborates with other fifth grade workshops on the annual Fifth Grade Arts Showcase, with the student artists creating set pieces and props for the performance.  

Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade Visual Arts classes meet for 95 minutes during the school day.  
Primary Visual Arts meets four times every six-day school cycle.
Secondary Visual Arts meets twice every six-day school cycle.

Sixth grade Visual Arts provides students with the basic vocabulary, skills and techniques necessary for future study in the visual arts.  At the beginning of the school year, students focus on developing and refining their drawing skills before moving on to a painting unit focusing on landscapes.  Students also explore various other media including sculpting with fabric, printmaking, and digital photography.  

Seventh Grade
Seventh Grade Visual Arts classes meet for two hours during the school day.  
Primary Visual Arts meets four times every six-day school cycle.
Secondary Visual Arts meets twice every six-day school cycle.

In seventh grade, Visual Arts students continue to develop their artistic vocabulary and discover new artists while also learning to share their artwork with others effectively.  

At the beginning of the school year, students focus on creating high-quality artwork in black and white through about two months of drawing training.  Several related projects help students build their confidence while learning to hold themselves to a high artistic standard.  As the year progresses, students start to work in other artistic media incorporating color.  Students participate in a painting unit, acquiring and practicing new techniques while developing artwork based on original ideas, current events and controversial topics.  Students also learn to write meaningful artists’ statements about their own work.  The school year concludes with a unit on sculpture.  Students discuss the history of sculpture and experiment with a variety of materials while creating original artwork.  

Eighth Grade
Eighth Grade Visual Arts classes meet for two and a half hours each school day.  

With many students interested in pursuing further Visual Arts instruction in high school and beyond, the eighth grade Visual Arts curriculum focuses on building a strong portfolio, focusing on portfolio essentials like still-life drawing and self-portraits.  As the year progresses, students complete projects in a variety of media, drawing on and develop their skills from previous years.  In addition, eighth grade Visual Art students spend significant time developing their own artistic style and voice through personal projects.  These projects offer students a great deal of creative freedom and often take inspiration from students’ personal interests.  Our eighth graders finish their time at AACMS with a portfolio of high-quality artwork they can be proud of showing at any audition, interview, or art gallery.  

AACMS hosts its Visual Arts Showcase each May, showcasing work completed by all of our students throughout the school year.  AACMS also highlights student artwork at other events throughout the year, including displays at the annual AACMS Barnes & Noble Book Fair, The Promenade Shops, and Lit Coffeehouse and Roastery.  Visual Arts students also create artwork for other school events throughout the year, including poster artwork for many of our major student performances.  Our teachers also encourage students to submit artwork to competitions, contests, local galleries and community outreach programs.