MENLO SCHOOL • SINCE 1915

Upper School student artwork on display.

Studio Art

Express yourself.

The Studio Art program is a place where students of all abilities can learn to express their visual creativity.

Students follow their own unique artistic path while experimenting with a wide range of traditional and digital media. All students participate in several exhibits, and student artwork is featured throughout the School. Students take field trips to museums, galleries, and artist studios, and guest artists visit every year. All Studio Art courses comply with UC standards.

Students work on artwork in the Studio Art class.

Upper School Studio Art Faculty

Upper School Studio Art Course Offerings

Grade: 1112

AP Studio Art: 2-D Design

Students who wish to register for an AP Art class will initially be scheduled into TOPICS OF FINE ARTS. Students will then work with the Ms Ollikainen at the beginning of the semester to determine which AP class the student will be moved into. Please speak to Ms Ollikainen for more information.

AP 2-D Design is a rigorous course where students complete a portfolio of original artworks in a variety of mediums, including drawing, painting, mixed-media, photography, and digital art. Experimentation, revision, and the effective use of the Principles and Elements of Design are emphasized as is documentation of the process of creating art. The  AP 2-D portfolio is comprised of two sections: selected works consist of three of the student’s best artworks submitted in their original form; the Sustained Investigation portion is a body of 15 artworks investigating a strong underlying visual idea. Students are expected to work extra hours outside of class and take complete responsibility in time management and project completion.  Student artwork is submitted digitally and is judged and scored by a panel of art experts.

Prerequisite: Completion of either Advanced Art or Topics in Fine Art and permission of the teacher.

Grade: 12

AP Studio Art: 3-D Design

Students who wish to register for an AP Art class will initially be scheduled into TOPICS OF FINE ARTS. Students will then work with the Ms Ollikainen at the beginning of the semester to determine which AP class the student will be moved into. Please speak to Ms Ollikainen for more information.

AP 3-D Design is a rigorous honors level course where students complete three-dimensional artworks in a variety of mediums including clay, paper, wire, fabric and found objects. Digital 3-D art is also accepted. Artworks are judged through photographs of the dimensional works from different angles. The Quality section of the portfolio consists of five-dimensional artworks that demonstrate mastery of 3-D design in concept, composition, and execution. The Concentration section has an estimated 10 artworks investigating a strong underlying visual idea in 3-D design. The Breadth section includes 2 images each of 8 different artworks that demonstrate a variety of concepts and approaches in 3-D design. As in AP 2-D, students are expected to set aside ample time outside of class hours to complete their artworks.

Prerequisite: Completion of AP Art 2-D.

Grade: 1112

AP Studio Art: Drawing

Students who wish to register for an AP Art class will initially be scheduled into TOPICS OF FINE ARTS. Students will then work with the Ms Ollikainen at the beginning of the semester to determine which AP class the student will be moved into. Please speak to Ms Ollikainen for more information.

AP Studio Art Drawing is similar to AP 2-D Design, but the judging and scoring of artwork has a slightly different “lens” than the Design portfolio. In Drawing, mark-making, and representation of form in both drawn and painted artwork are emphasized whereas in 2-D Design, design and composition are paramount. Unlike AP 2-D, purely photographic artwork would not be part of a Drawing portfolio unless there were drawn elements in it. Digital drawing is accepted as is mixed media. Experimentation, revision, and the effective use of the principles and elements of design are emphasized as is documentation of the process of creating art.

Prerequisite: Completion of either Advanced Art or Topics in Fine Art and permission of the teacher.

Grade: 9101112

Art 1: Foundations

This is a year-long course.

Studio Art students are taught foundation level skills while exploring a wide range of art mediums and techniques. The primary focus is on learning and utilizing the Principles and Elements of Design. Students will have direct instruction in drawing, painting, printmaking, and digital art. The first semester will concentrate on 2-D art concepts while the second semester will introduce 3- D art concepts. Students will research various art movements and participate in class presentations.

Grade: 101112

Art 2: Advanced Art

This is a year-long course.

Advanced Art students develop mastery of their art skills and utilization of the Principles and Elements of Design. It is encouraged that students maintain an art journal throughout the year as well as develop a portfolio of original artwork. The instructor and guest artists will give hands-on demonstrations in drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media collage, and digital art. Students create their own challenging projects utilizing techniques they have learned. Included in the course is an overview of contemporary art history as well as major art movements.

Prerequisite: Permission of the teacher and preview of student artwork.

Grade: 101112

Art 3: Topics in Fine Art

This is a year-long course.

Topics in Fine Art is geared toward those students who have completed Advanced Art and wish to pursue their artistic interests further as they create their own challenging projects. Topics in Fine Art parallels the AP 2-Design course curriculum and introduces students to the AP art material. The course is not an AP level course in that final review of the student art portfolio will not be evaluated by the AP Board. Quality art created in this course may be used as part of the AP art portfolio should the student elect to take AP Studio Art in the following year. Students develop mastery of their art skills and utilization of the Principles and Elements of Design. It is encouraged that students maintain an art journal throughout the year as well as develop a portfolio of original artwork. The instructor and guest artists will give hands-on demonstrations in drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media collage, and digital art. Students create their own challenging projects utilizing techniques they have learned. Included in the course is an overview of contemporary art history as well as major art movements.

Prerequisite: Permission of the teacher and review of student artwork.

Content from previous site pages, can be copied into new design as needed

Express yourself.