VMAA visual art program is a four year program designed for young artists. By creating art, students learn to explore their own ideas and experiences and express themselves visually. In the first two years, we expose our students to many different kinds of media, including painting, ceramics, software learning, 3D modeling, photography and special design. When they get into grade 11 and 12, they will pick a concentration they want to focus on and build their portfolio for college applications. Besides art studio courses, we offer cross-disciplinary academic instruction, including a one-year research course on European Art and cultural history, and a capstone project students complete in their final year. Skills are emphasized throughout all academic courses, including analysis of texts and artworks, creative problem solving, collaboration, English language learning, and logical argumentation.
All foundation courses will be focusing on basic art skills, such as drawing, painting and sculpture. Students will find their suitable level to do charcoal, acrylic and oil painting of still life, figure, and landscape. They will also have opportunities to do still life, portrait and figure sculpture. Weekly studio classes, in which all students will meet his/her foundation teacher in groups. And in one or two weeks there will be a critique when students and faculties sit together to talk about the works they’ve created during these time. Foundation class is required for all VMAA art students and open to VMA students on Art Track.
Students will learn Western and Chinese ancient art history, modern art history and contemporary art history systematically. In class， they will learn how to talk about art and their connection with the time they were created. There will be certain topics for student to do research and they will sit in a circle together with their teacher to talk about these topics. Artistic critique skills and terms will be taught，that students will read and write art articles， and their own artist statement which will help them better understand what they do in the studio. Art history and theory class is required for all VMAA art students and open to VMA students with permission of the instructor.
Students will learn basic art and design elements, rules, skills and theory in no matter which media they chose. Philosophically and aesthetically, students will know the meaning of points, lines, shapes and volumes. We offer various courses in space design - such as architecture and interior design, fashion design, 2D design - such as graphic design and illustration, 3D design - such as product design and furniture design, film and fine art. After trying different things, students will be asked to choose a direction in their senior year of school to start developing their portfolio for college application. VMAA students need to take at least 35 credits in studio art classes. And these courses are open to VMA students with permission of the instructor.
Students will spend a whole year to learn how to build a professional portfolio based on the major they want to apply in college. They will spend tremendous of time with their major tutor and have private classes every week. At the same time, students practice applying their knowledge, skills and understanding to the process of portfolio building. This is a course that require all other three types of courses to support. This course is required by all senior VMAA students, and by the end of the class, students should be able to produce a well qualified portfolio with professional concentrations, researches and expressions. This course is for VMAA students only.
The VMAA capstone is a year-long project in which students showcase the research and communication skills they have learned at VMAA while developing a project of use to them as an artist. Students will do an original site-based installation project, and write a senior essay. All projects involve a written and an oral portion. This year-long course, including the way projects shall be assessed and their deadlines, is designed entirely by students in consultation with their teacher.