TJ's Art Programs begin in Early Childhood, and can continue through the student's senior year. TJ students successfully compete in several local, regional, state, and national competitions each year, and several classes have had their work shown in local art galleries. In the recent Ozark 7 Conference Art Show and Juried Competition, TJ students swept the top three places in the painting category, won the Student Choice Award, and placed in the top three in several other categories.
Pre-K and K
Students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten learn to distinguish artwork in the studio from their more crafts-oriented activities in the regular classroom. Their early focus is on recognizing the qualities of shape, color, and line; they move on to learning the color wheel and mixing color, combining and manipulating shapes to create visual images, and beginning to depict space.
Throughout grades one through five, students meet with the art teacher twice per week. They create works of art in various media, using a variety of techniques, to learn the principles of design and the elements of art. Along the way, they increase their art vocabulary to be better able to communicate about their own creative efforts and about the role of art in society throughout history. Art projects connect to the classroom curriculum whenever natural opportunities arise. The study of great works in art history proceeds thematically—that is, through landscapes, portraits, or figure sculptures.
The sixth-grade students learn still life drawing from direct observation, working from simple groups of geometric objects. They progress from simple line-contour drawing to rendering full volume with shading. Studies in Art History cover an introduction to the art and esthetic of the Greeks and Romans, with an emphasis on the development of figure sculpture. This is followed by studio projects: modeling figures in action, using clay; painting figures in action, using acrylics; and drawing figures from static poses. Seventh-grade students learn ceramics, using several classic methods of vessel making: coil building, slab building, and throwing on the wheel. Their training in drawing includes an introduction to the use of formal perspective in rendering deep space and issues of human proportion as related to portraiture. Studies in Art History cover the Romanesque and Gothic periods of Medieval Art. Eighth-graders confront problems of formal design—the issue of the expressive and successful use of compositional strategies in visually resolving arrangements in two-dimensional space. Students extend their examination of formal perspective and pursue a large-scale collaborative printmaking project. More work is done of portraiture and figure drawing. Studies in Art History cover the Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo periods.
The art elective offers Upper School students a broad array of studio experiences across a range of media, similar to what they would encounter in the first year or two of a college art-degree program. Students confront two- and three-dimensional problems in diverse media, from carving and casting plaster, to observational drawing and painting, to photography and digital imaging. It is a firm expectation that students be individually creative and personally expressive in their selection of imagery, not reliant on pre-existing models. Emphasis is placed on developing skills that merit recognition in a competitive area, beyond the rewards of simple personal satisfaction. Over the course of a multi-year involvement in the course, students are granted, by displaying special prowess, the leeway to pursue a focused development of their powers in those media and genres that suit them best.