Explore Our Curriculum

Studio Arts

Graduation Requirement: One year of Studio Art 
The studio art department offers a comprehensive curriculum that fosters skills and creativity in a variety of media. Students may begin their study of art in ceramics/sculpture, photography, drawing/painting, graphic design, or film and video. Advanced courses are available once students have completed a first year in a specific course. Students are advised to begin their study of art in 9th or 10th grade in order to meet the requirement for graduation and to allow time for advanced study for those inclined. The curriculum emphasizes the principles of design and complements these skills with research projects including museum visits and historical and contemporary artist studies. 
 
  • Introduction to Ceramics and Sculpture

    This course introduces students to a range of three-dimensional media, with a strong emphasis on wheel-thrown pottery. Students learn how to prepare clay, use a variety of glazes, and successfully operate a pottery wheel. During the first semester, students complete a broad range of wheel-thrown vessels while in the second semester the course focuses on a more hand-built and sculptural approach to form. Work will be completed using clay, plaster, plastic, wood, paper, and found objects. Projects will range from realism to abstraction. Students electing this class should expect to get messy and be challenged to be resourceful and imaginative in their art-making. 
  • Advanced Ceramics and Sculpture

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Ceramics and Sculpture 
    Advanced Ceramics and Sculpture is for students who are exceptionally motivated and work well independently. Although not specifically an AP course, students may elect to focus their work on preparation of an AP three-dimensional design portfolio. Students will work directly with concepts of design and articulate artwork that clearly reflects an understanding of these principles. In addition to refining skills and building their craft as potters, students will tackle more challenging assignments in sculpture. The objective will be to help students learn to articulate a cohesive vision, while producing engaging artwork. 
  • Introduction to Drawing and Painting

    This introductory drawing and painting course offers training in basic and advanced techniques of drawing, painting, and composition. Students work in a variety of genres that challenge them to see more analytically while gradually expanding their repertoire of skills. Each student works toward building a portfolio of artwork that meets the criteria for advanced course work and reflects his or her unique vision. 
  • Advanced Drawing and Painting

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Drawing and Painting 
    Advanced Drawing and Painting is for highly motivated students who want to further their studies in painting and drawing as well as prepare for the AP Studio Art course. Projects designed to help students develop their technical skills include landscape drawing, still life oil painting, figure drawing, architectural drawing, digital drawing, portrait drawing, and anatomical studies using the skeleton. Students learn to use a variety of media and develop a personal artistic voice. The structure of the course helps students prepare a well-developed portfolio. 
  • Introduction to Fine Art Photography

    This course provides a comprehensive experience in current photographic processes. It introduces students to the technical and visual processes of photography. Students examine how digital technology has transformed photography from a medium of absolute record to one of limitless manipulation of digital images with Adobe Photoshop. Assignments initially stress the essentials of the photographic process and then shift toward fostering an understanding of the expressive elements of the medium. Students follow an introductory photography curriculum that covers both technical and aesthetic aspects of this rapidly evolving medium using digital cameras in conjunction with the computer programs Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Students learn the essential principles of composition and design while exploring classic photographic subjects such as architecture, still life, portraiture, landscape, and social documentary. In addition, an art history research project requirement focuses on prominent photographers. Each student is expected to develop a portfolio that meets assignment objectives and demonstrates technical competence. Students should supply their own digital cameras and memory cards. 
  • Advanced Photography

    Prerequisite: A digital or black-and-white photography course
    Through a series of portfolio-building assignments, advanced photography students continue their creative, visual, and technical inquiry into traditional and/or color digital camera operation. There is a strong emphasis on the photograph both as fine art and as an interrelated extension of the students’ interests and perceptions. Advanced metering, studio lighting, alternative printing techniques, Lightroom, and Adobe Photoshop manipulations are taught. Initially assignments stress the essentials of the photographic process, however as the year progresses students gain an understanding of the expressive elements of the medium. Students are expected to build a comprehensive portfolio in addition to designing and hanging an exhibition for the community. Students should supply their own digital cameras and memory cards.
  • Digital Media and Design

    Students will learn to create magazines, CD covers, game covers, posters, logos, infographics, and web design using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Students will also learn how to develop a concept, work with typography, create digital graphics, and manipulate photos.
  • Making Video in the 21st Century

    This introductory course takes a whole new approach to creating video as works of art, combining a variety of art forms (including film, painting, sculpture, photography, and performance) with the use of mobile phones, apps, and digital cameras for creating and capturing content. Students will exhibit hands-on art projects with sound and learn the basic production methods of shooting and editing with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. Students will take field trips to museum exhibitions, watch movie screenings of current shorts and features, and discover ground-breaking art from the 1930s to the present, from such artists as Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Nam June Paik, and Marina Abramovic. Presentation of class projects will be tailored to reflect specific interests of each student. Projects may include video installations, multi-media sculpture, or performance art works.
  • AP Studio Art

    Note: AP Studio Art is designed as a one-year program 
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Advanced Painting and Drawing 
    AP Studio Art is a one-year intensive portfolio-based course designed for students seriously interested in art beyond the intermediate level. It is a rigorous college-level curriculum offered in a supportive high-school environment. Students need to be self-motivated and serious about following through on assignments in order to have a successful experience and to be properly prepared for the AP examination, which is an extensive portfolio submission. A highlight of the course is the intellectually charged and technically challenging atmosphere in which students explore their own work, as well as that of classmates and professional artists. The course of study is based on the College Board requirements and successful completion of a portfolio for the AP examination. 
  • AP Studio Art: Ceramics & Sculpture/3-D Design

    AP 3-D Design is a one-year intensive portfolio-based
    course designed for students seriously interested in ceramics
    and sculpture beyond the intermediate level. It is a rigorous
    college-level curriculum offered in a supportive high school
    environment. Students need to be self-motivated and serious
    about following through on assignments in order to have a
    successful experience. The objective of the course is to guide
    each student to create an original portfolio of artwork that
    meets the standards set by the College Board. Students
    should expect to be challenged to develop their skills to the
    highest level and defend their work and ideas during critiques.
    Assignments will directly address the key principles of design
    and are geared to building work for each student's portfolio.
    A complete description of the course’s specific portfolio
    expectations is available on the College Board website.
  • AP Studio Art: Photography and 2-D Design

    Note: AP Studio Art is a one-year program 
    Prerequisite: A digital or black-and-white Advanced Photography course 
    AP Studio Art is a one-year intensive portfolio-based course designed for students seriously interested in photography as design beyond the intermediate level. It is a rigorous college-level curriculum offered in a supportive high-school environment. Students need to be self- motivated and serious about following through on assignments in order to have a successful experience and to be properly prepared for the AP examination, which is an extensive portfolio submission. A highlight of the course is the intellectually charged and technically challenging atmosphere in which students explore their own work, as well as that of classmates and professional artists. In addition students will study historical and contemporary artists through gallery visits and research throughout the year. A complete description of the course’s expectations is available on the College Board website. 

Faculty

  • Michelle Cobb

    High School Studio Arts Department Chair
    202-274-1669
    2005
    Bio
  • Adrian Loving

    High School Studio Arts Teacher
    202-274-1674
    2013
    Bio
  • Nicholas Ryan

    High School Studio Arts Teacher
    202-274-3258
    Pratt Institute - M.F.A.
    Connecticut College - B.A.
    2000
    Bio
  • Laura Tolliver

    High School Studio Arts Teacher
    202-274-3277
    1980
    Bio

LOWER/MIDDLE SCHOOL

4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, Washington, DC 20007

HIGH SCHOOL

4200 Davenport Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016


Georgetown Day School is a coed, preK-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC with small class sizes and a diverse school community. Our comprehensive, innovative curriculum includes hands-on learning, honors and AP classes, as well as advanced-level math and STEM courses. An education is not just college prep and SAT scores. GDS teachers focus on providing the best education for each child, from elementary grades through high school. The school performing arts program includes theater, dance, and music. The athletics program offers competitive sports for student athletes, including cross-country, track, soccer, lacrosse, and crew/rowing. With our strong commitment to financial aid, an independent school tuition is affordable.