Visual Arts


The Visual Arts at Oakwood gives students a comprehensive 360-degree education in art including the history of art, the various mediums and the how-to applications for them to explore and express their own creativity often integrating topics from student core studies into the art studio projects. Students’ artwork is showcased throughout the school as well as in the community. Exhibit opportunities can include Spring School Art Show, The Greenville Museum of Art and Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge.


Lower School

In Pre-K through third grade, the elements of art and principles of design are the foundation for the art program. Students view the work of artists who lived during various historical periods and in various regions of the world and study their methods to gain understandings of beliefs, ideas, values, and histories of cultures. Students use math, reading, and writing skills to explore art concepts and aid in the learning process. Students develop artistic skills through practice and observation. Some students have an innate talent in art but they, too, need to develop their skills and understandings through exposure to artistic concepts and principles.

Our Lower School art program recognizes and celebrates the various learning styles and cultural differences of our students. Students are instructed in the care and use of materials and tools in a safe, appropriate manner. Organizational skills are taught as students learn to take care of their individual workspaces. This includes knowing how and where to retrieve and return supplies from their appropriate places within the art room environment. Students are taught to use problem-solving skills by encouraging creativity.

At each grade level, students explore different forms of art that will progressively become more challenging throughout the years. Art such as painting, drawing, printing and collages are a few examples of the types of art used in the Lower School art program. Art education makes a contribution to the total personality of the child, helping them gain confidence and security in their self-expression. The goal of the art program is to help children learn to “see” in a way that they can translate into art and to help develop a love of art while having fun with the process.

Middle School

There are several goals of the Middle School art program:

  • to help students grow in their appreciation of art
  • to demonstrate that there are many media through which man expresses herself/himself artistically
  • to teach students that artists create their own styles and that their work is often categorized in terms of movements
  • to guide students in developing their own artistic sensibilities
  • to offer lessons that pave the way for students to create their own art work
  • to introduce alternative ways to learn
  • to strengthen students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • to develop students’ self-confidence, persistence and self-discipline


In art classes, students explore different art techniques such as drawing, painting, working with clay, creating sculptures and collages, printmaking, and computer graphics. They also use sketchbooks to plan and problem-solve ideas for projects and to record their imaginings, observations, and impressions of interesting images. Projects are integrated with the content of the core curricula at each grade level and make a rich offering. Art students use their computers to research artists and art movements on the Internet, and the resulting information is used to inspire and enrich their art projects. By the end of Middle School, students have explored and experimented with various computer applications that relate to the world of art.

Upper School

8th Grade Art

This is a hands-on introductory art course based on the Elements of Art (line, shape, form, color, texture, pattern, space). Students develop skills in understanding and appreciating art history, aesthetics, art criticism and studio art techniques and explore different art media such as drawing, painting, working with clay, sculpture techniques, collage, printmaking and mixed media. Each project focuses on one or more of the elements of arts. Potential projects include an inside-out silhouette, a recycled project, collagraph monoprinting, and various drawing and painting exercises. Students participating in this class are expected to display their work in exhibits both at school and in the Greenville community. Students are graded on their planning process, sketchbook/journal, class critiques, exploration and mastery of the techniques, presentations, and completion of projects in a timely manner.

Art Exploration (9-12)

The Oakwood Upper School offers an individualized visual arts program. Art Exploration is a choice based art elective. This course allows students to focus on their choice of studio activities in one or more of the visual arts: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, collage, and/or multimedia art. Students begin the course by creating their own journal in which they record their ideas, inspirations, and research. Students use the creative process to create art works that reflect a wide range of subjects. With the support of the teacher, students develop a personalized plan of activities and/or projects to be completed each quarter. Course rubrics are designed by the students and the teacher and are used to assess the students’ works. Student work will also be assessed through journals, statements, presentations and critique sessions. Assessments will encourage risk-taking and focus. Finally, any student wishing to develop a portfolio will receive teacher support in this endeavor.

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