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Visual Arts

The studio is the classroom.

At GHS, our Fine Arts program views every student as an emerging artist. The Arts are vital to the development of the whole child. The importance of the Arts is clear: while stimulating imagination and self-expression, the Arts hold a significant role in the development of critical thinking, responsible decision-making and cultural awareness. Students develop abilities and habits of mind that empower learning across curriculums. They will design, revise and reflect on their own work to solve aesthetic problems and analyze other's creative efforts. We strive to encourage the leader and artist in every child to help them comprehend and appreciate the importance of creativity in our global society.

Rigorous Fine Arts instruction produces self-motivated, adaptable, productive, lifelong learners, equipped for the challenges of the global workforce.


Course 1—Pre-Requisite

Visual Arts/Comprehensive I

Introduces art history, art criticism, aesthetic judgment and studio production. Emphasizes the ability to understand and use elements and principles of design through a variety of media, processes and visual resources. Explores master artworks for historical and cultural significance. Virtual Arts I is the required introductory course for all other visual art courses.

Continued Study Courses— Any Level I, II, or III and AP Art & Design (Advanced Placement Portfolio)

Drawing and Painting I

Explores a variety of drawing techniques and media; emphasizes developing basic drawing skills and critical analysis skills for responding to master drawings. Examines solutions to drawing problems through student drawings and those of other artists. Covers Western and non-Western cultures.

Prerequisite: Visual Arts I

Drawing II

Enhances level-one skills in technique and provides further exploration of drawing media. Reinforces basic drawing skills and critical analysis skills for responding to master drawings of different historical styles and periods. Examines solutions to drawing problems through student drawings and those of other artists. Prerequisite: Drawing & Painting I

Painting II

Enhances level-one painting skills and offers opportunities to apply painting techniques in a variety of media from traditional to mixed media. Emphasizes critical analysis skills for responding to master paintings of different styles and historical periods. Emphasizes the concept and development of personal style. Prerequisite: Drawing & Painting I

Ceramics I, II, & III

Ceramics I - Introduces the characteristics of clay and design in clay using various techniques of construction and decoration. Emphasizes hand building and introduces other forming techniques, surface decoration and glaze applications. Covers styles of Photography ceramic works from Western and non-Western cultures.

Prerequisite: Visual Arts I

Ceramics II-III - Enhances level-1 skills and provides opportunities to apply design techniques in clay through hand building and/or wheel throwing techniques while continuing to develop personal artistic voice. Emphasizes more complex form and surface treatments using tools, glazes, resists, and multiple clay bodies. Prerequisite: Ceramics I

Photography I, II, & III

Photography I - Introduces photography as an art form. Covers the historical development of photography. Emphasizes the basics of exposing and processing photographs in traditional and digital photography. Emphasizes appropriate darkroom techniques and digital photography editing using a 35mm/digital camera/smartphone/ and pinhole cameras. Prerequisite: Visual Arts I

Photography II to III - Continues concepts of level I and explores alternative/and digital processes. Stresses personal expression of ideas and depth of exploration in selected photo techniques. Continues to explore photography and photographers for historical and critical appraisal.

Prerequisite: Photography I


AP 2D Design, AP 3D Design, or AP Drawing

Conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Studio: Art and Design Portfolio Examination. Requires submission of original works and digital images to be evaluated on quality and sustained investigation of individualized concepts. Provides experiences using a wide variety of media and approaches; designed for students interested in expiration, skill mastery, production of a body of works, rigor, and personal growth. A portfolio of 25 finalized works are the result of this yearlong intensive. Portfolios may focus on: Photography, Paint, Ceramics/Sculpture, Drawing, Design Application (Digital, Graphic, Fashion) or Mixed Media.

Teacher Recommendation and Portfolio Review

Course Standards

Visual Arts Georgia Standards of Excellence

Course Progression

​​​​​​​Flow Chart Guide to Visual Arts Courses

Visual Arts at GHS

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Art Department Website





Bachelor’s of Fine Degree



Bachelor’s of Fine Degree


Bachelor’s of Fine Degree


Bachelor’s of Degree


Additional Career Choices

  • Architect

  • Art Critic, Director, or Editor

  • Art Historian/Restoration

  • Art Therapist

  • Ceramicist

  • Industrial Design

  • Digital Animator

  • Fashion Designer/Merchandiser

  • Film Director/Editor

  • Interior Design

  • Muralist

  • Photojournalist/Editor

  • Scientific Illustrator

  • Sculptor

  • Stylist/Make-Up Artist

  • Textile Designer

  • University Professor/ Fine Art Teacher

  • Urban Planner

  • Web Design