Fine Arts and Theology
This is a one-semester course. The students survey the major religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism/Taoism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Time permitting, the course will also include Jainism, Sikhism and Zen. This course is not designed to focus on any one particular religion; however, Christianity and Catholicism, in particular, are stressed. A study of cults is also included in our studies.
This one-semester course deals with real life situations. Sample cases that contain one or more moral dilemmas are used to show how to arrive at proper decisions. The course does not provide the answers, but instead presents values that help the student make informed decisions. The study of practice cases helps the student to grow in his understanding and appreciation of morality.
This one-semester course is designed to cover Greek and Norse Mythology. They both deal with the primary gods and goddesses of their respective cultures. This is a survey course, but it will provide the student with the most important concepts as well as the rationale behind them. The course draws parallels between mythological and Christian beliefs in order to show that certain similarities exist with Biblical narratives and hagiological legends.
Introduction to the Art Department
The Art Department at St. Thomas More School has been designed with the dynamics of Art Therapy in mind. The classes have been crafted to promote respect for the fine arts in all students and are structured as such, but at the same time each class is a therapeutic environment removed from the traditional stresses of the academic prorgam. Each course provides essential skills in the arts and challenges the conceptual and visual conventions of the student to further develop their own meta-cognitive conventions. Removed both philosophically and physically from the rest of the campus, the art cabin acts as a non-judgmental artistic space in which the free flow of ideas and expression are welcome.
The Studio Art course is taught as an introductory course in the fine arts. The class spans studio artistic creation from its humble beginnings with the basics of the still life, pencil drawing, perspective, shading, and tone, to the truly conceptual and creative processes found through design projects, clay, sculpture, painting and interpretative abstract work. Students should come away from this class with a more in depth aesthetic understanding of their surroundings and the ability to render space to a greater detail.
Advanced Studio Art (Independent Study of Art)
Advanced Independent Study is a course set up for students who have demonstrated a clear investment and or skill in the fine arts. The course of study is yearlong and will follow an advanced introduction to a studio studies schedule. This means that the class will predominantly cover advanced drafting, advanced color theory, and a more varied and advanced array of application techniques, art theory, and criticism studies. Students will further develop their skills of art: line, mark, space, tone, etc. Once both color and monochromatic media are used successfully, the class may foray into mixed media and conceptual projects, but the predominant focus of this class will be on advanced drawing techniques. The class will run concurrently with Studio Art as an independent program in which the students will pursue more advanced projects and concepts. Thus the class will act as an accredited successive course that advanced students who are possibly interested in a career in the arts will take to hone their skills. Every student will be supplied a sketch book in which homework will be assigned every night. Students who graduate from this class should be prepared to enter into a foundations program at any art college. Every student will complete a portfolio by the end of class, a full 15 images that can be used to apply to an art school.
The Art Appreciation course is an introductory survey course in the history, philosophy and technique of the fine arts. Students are educated in the history of art chronologically through the use of visual PowerPoint presentations on each art style and time period. Moving from the caves of Lascaux France to the mind of Marcel Duchamp, students engage in artwork from the caveman to the conceptual. After each presentation, a project generated in relation to the art style or period discussed is completed. This course aims to give every student a basic understanding of our visual culture and the importance of the fine arts in the contemporary global society.
Modern Storytelling is a seminar course academically designed to introduce students to the art form that is film and the mechanics of the more conceptual environment of the college classroom. Each class begins and ends with discussion developed through prompts and presentations from the teacher based on films watched in the class. The course is therapeutic but is also writing-intensive. Students learn to develop their own cognitive reasoning skills that extend far beyond question and answer, and enter into the realm of the philosophical.