At Colorado Academy, we believe that the Visual and Performing Arts are an integral part of a liberal arts education through exposure and experience at all grade levels. Beyond the skill training involved in all artistic study, students learn to identify a concept and bring it to life through a particular focus, with the ability to assess outcome. We engage in the arts in a civilized society to know beauty, to seek compassion, and to fulfill what it means to be human, be it through music, visual art, theater, dance, film, photography, or the poetry of written and spoken word. Georgia O’Keeffe said, to create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage. At CA we want our students to venture boldly and discover a personal and distinctive voice through their study of the arts.
Visual Arts in Lower School
Beginning in Pre-K in visual arts, children work with an arts specialist to learn to draw with a variety of media and explore repeated patterns and texture. By second grade, they learn to apply principles of symmetry, negative and positive space, bas-relief, and, as they progress through Lower School, they develop an understanding of portraiture and color awareness, and have the opportunity to experiment with paint, asymmetry and radial design as well as dimensional design. Learning the arts in Lower School is about individual creativity and awareness, coupled with the concept of what it means to be part of a larger artistic entity.
Visual Arts in Middle School
All students in grade six take part in an innovative Arts rotation class which includes exposure and experience in the following disciplines: vocal music, theater, design and coding, visual art, and photography. In grades seven and eight, students may choose from a variety of trimester electives, including vocal music, theater performance, technical theater, visual art, film (digital media), modern/contemporary dance, ballet, jazz/rock/tap, band, and photography. Starting in grade six, students are introduced to artistic critique and true observation, and critical thinking is emphasized across the disciplines. Students are encouraged to try a number of interests before they move to specialization in Upper School.
Visual Arts in Upper School
In Upper School, students begin to specialize in an area of their choice, but it is not unusual to find that students are committed to the study of more than one art form. Classes are taught by experienced teachers who are also accomplished artists, and electives are available in all areas of performing and visual arts for students at any level of experience and expertise. There are also advanced focused courses of study, including specialized vocal groups through the Choir Program, the Conservatories of Dance and Theater, as well as a Portfolio Program through Visual Arts. These courses are open through audition and prerequisite.