Arts

spray booth upper school arts

Visual Arts

Beginning Sewing

We will begin with hand sewing and craft construction. Students will choose and design projects of their own interest in order to develop their skills. We will move on to machine sewing – learning the basics of the equipment and exploring a variety of projects from clothing to crafts. Students will work with their hands and express their creative ideas in 3-D form. This class is open to all Upper School students. (Fall semester course)

Ceramics

Students work with clay and glazes in both functional and sculptural projects. They acquire the basic skills required to throw simple forms on the potter’s wheel and work with slabs and coils to construct hand-built forms. Many specific projects are assigned, but time will be available for students to work on projects of their own design. This course is open to Juniors and Seniors. (Full year course)

Design Studio: Fashion, Architecture, 3-D

Design Studio will offer the opportunity to explore a wide variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art-making materials and processes. We will brainstorm, draw, paint, prototype, design, and build a number of individual projects. We will learn major design concepts and engineering principles and apply them to your own unique art projects. We will also have the opportunity to focus on an area of particular interest such as architecture, fashion design, graphic design, and more! This class is open to all Upper School students. (Spring semester course)

Drawing

Students will explore a wide variety of “drawing” materials and processes. We will challenge a number of preconceptions and expectations of what a “drawing” can be. You will explore mark-making in 2-D, 3-D and Mixed Media. So you may begin your semester as someone experienced creating pencil drawings on paper, but then you may start using ball point pen on wood, acrylic paint on a discarded coffee table, stringing wire across a public space to divide it up, or making a self-portrait with a sewing machine. This class is open to all Upper School students. (Fall semester course)

Honors Portfolio: Studio Arts

Honors Portfolio is a studio-intensive course where advanced students experienced in fine arts (drawing, painting, sculpture) and design (fashion, industrial, and product design) can develop portfolios for college admission. Student artists are given creative prompts to work through based on trends in contemporary and historical artistic practice, but the primary emphasis of the course is for students to develop an independent studio practice. Each artist is expected to conceptualize and produce a Concentration; consisting of a series of pieces linked by materials, process, and thematic connection(s). In addition, artists collaborate and critique one another’s work and meet one-on-one with their teacher for instruction in technique, as well as clarity and focus in crafting thematically honed portfolios. This is a demanding course requiring students to dedicate themselves to their individual studio practice, practice in-depth inquiry, and a fulfill a commitment of developing ongoing work outside of assigned class meeting times. Prerequisite: 2D and/or 3D studio arts class and approval of instructor. (Full year course)

Honors Portfolio: Multimedia Arts

Like Honors Portfolio, this is an intensive course where advanced students in digital arts (multimedia / video art / installation, filmmaking, photography, graphic design, illustration) can develop portfolios or ‘reels’ for college admission. Student artists are given creative prompts to work through based on trends in contemporary and historical artistic practice. Students develop a Concentration; consisting of a series of pieces linked by materials, process, and/or thematic concept. In addition, artists collaborate and critique one another’s work and meet one on one with teachers for instruction in technique. This is a demanding course requiring a dedication to individual studio practice, in-depth inquiry, and a commitment to outside of assigned class meeting times. Prerequisites: Junior / Senior Standing and successful completion of one or more of the following courses: Media Arts, Genres, CBP, Time-Based Arts, Photography, or Illustration. (Full year course)

Jewelry Making & Design

This is a project-oriented class which will teach the basics of stringing, weaving, wire wrapping & basic metal work. Students will have the opportunity to build basic projects to develop their skills and then expand their work to include their own design ideas. Beginners-level class, no experience necessary. (Spring semester course)

Media Arts: Sight & Sound

Students will learn the fundamentals of video production including lighting, cinematography, sound recording, and editing. Although intended for the novice filmmaker, experienced students are welcome, and projects will be adapted to challenge their individual skill levels. Class time will be primarily devoted to projects that may include video poetry, music videos, public service announcements, short features, and documentary projects. Our emphasis will be on developing projects from concept (preproduction) through construction (production and postproduction) to culmination (screening). This class is open to all Upper School students. (Spring semester course)

Media Arts: Time-Based Art

Attention filmmakers, artists, performers and coders: interactivity is the name of the game with this state-of-the-art arts course. We’ll learn how to create interactive arts experiences that incorporate performance, video, sculpture, and more. Projection mapping, arduino boards, hacking devices such as the Kinect or Wii to capture motion, exploring augmented reality and VR, and artist-friendly computer programming will all be explored. Students should have some background in ONE of these areas: visual arts, theater, dance, filmmaking, or programming. We’ll share our skills to make really cool, contemporary art. This class is open to all Upper School students. (Fall semester course)

Photography: People

This offering may be taken in sequence with Photo: Places in the spring or independently. Students in this class will learn foundational skills in photography including how to operate a DSLR, supplemental lighting tools, and editing software to produce amazing images every time. Projects will range from portraiture to fashion to photojournalism. We’ll work in the studio and on the streets of Portland to build a portfolio of our best work. This class is open to all Upper School students. (Fall semester course)

Photography: Places

This class may be taken on its own or in sequence with the fall course Photo: People. Students will learn foundational skills in photography including how to operate a DSLR, supplemental lighting tools, and editing software to produce amazing images every time. Projects will have students shooting still life, architecture, street art, landscape and action. We’ll work in the studio and on the streets of Portland to build a portfolio of our best work. This class is open to all Upper School students. (Spring semester course)

Street Art & Activism

We will make original artwork while exploring the rich history of Street Art: where, when, and how it started, and how it has evolved to its acceptance into the mainstream art culture today. We will consider how art can provoke conversation, serve to inspire an exchange of ideas, as well as a call to action. The goal will be to produce art that communicates personally meaningful themes, ideas, and messages. We will draw with Sharpie markers, screen print t-shirts, block print posters, yarn-bomb, design stickers, collage imagery, and paint/ print with stencils. Open to all Upper School Students. (Fall semester course)

Structural Design and Engineering

Why do buildings, sculptures, and objects stand up? What geometries lead to stability? How does material choice inform the structure and design process? How can we connect form with function? What factors do you need to consider in creating an effective and aesthetic design? This project-based course explores the basic principles of designing and building functional and beautiful structures, objects, and mechanisms. Main topics include statics (loads, force, and torque), material science, and the design process. Students will be presented with a series of challenges to design and build. Attention will be paid to structural stability, use of materials, cost-effectiveness, and beauty and elegance of design. The class will involve field trips around Portland and research into current and historical structural design. It will also involve drawing, sculpting, prototyping, calculating, and hands-on building. This course is open to all sophomores through seniors who have completed Algebra I. (Full year course, 0.5 credits in Arts and 0.5 credits in Science)

Woodworking

Students will work on a variety of projects, using both hand and power tools. Examples of projects include bowls, plates, and lamps (lathe work), tables and chairs, jewelry, mask, tools, and sculpture. Some of the techniques we explore include lamination, steam bending, jig design and construction, and mechanical drawing. Interest, imagination, and perseverance are the essential ingredients needed for this course. This class is open to all Upper School students. Students may request a full year of Woodworking by consent of instructor. This course can be taken more than once for credit. (Fall or spring semester course)

Music

Chamber Music

Students in chamber music will be able to take part in an instrumental setting, participating in various combinations of chamber ensembles. (For example, string quartet, piano quintet, saxophone choir, etc.) Repertoire will be chosen based on the combination of groups that can be made. Students will have input about repertoire and will be able to design a concert based on their interests. The class will prepare for performances that will take place on and off campus. This course can be taken more than once for credit. (Full year course)

Jazz Band / Honors Jazz Band

Intermediate and advanced instrumental students study and perform jazz. Typical instrumentation includes trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, electric or string bass, guitar, piano, and drums. Auditions take place in June. Student may receive an Honors credit by consent of instructor. This course can be taken more than once for credit. (Full year course)

Morning Choir

Students in choir will participate in a performing (vocal) ensemble. In class, students will learn and study a variety of pieces of choral literature ranging in style from the common practice era (1600-1900) to today. Through the study of such a broad range of repertoire, students will become versatile performers who will be able to exhibit proper technique as is customary of a particular style or era. While the class takes place before the start of the school, singing is a great way to start the day! This class is open to all Upper School students. This course can be taken more than once for credit. (Before school, full year course)

Music Commentary: Social Justice

Throughout history, music and art were used as a means of making a statement or commentating on a political matter. This class will explore the music side. From Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” to Beyonce’s “Formation,” students will explore what the composer / singer / songwriter’s intent and purpose for creating a piece of music in response to various political climates. This class is open to all Upper School students. (Spring semester course)

Music Theory and Composition

In this class, students will learn the fundamentals of songwriting or depending upon their level, continue working on their craft. Some students in the class will have prior experience writing songs while others are beginners. Elements of song writing to explore will include: form, lyric writing, forming melodies, chord progressions, and other basic components of music theory/musicality. Students who choose to write instrumental music will use Finale to notate their compositions. Basic knowledge of instrument ranges, instrumental timbre, theory, and fundamentals which come out of the common practice era (1650-1900) will be explored. Ideally, students will be able to compose music in both media and for specific projects such as film. This class is open to all Upper School students. (Fall semester course)

Rock Band

A companion to the Upper School Jazz Band, this course invites guitarists, horn, keyboard, and percussionists to ROCK. Auditions take place in June. This course can be taken more than once for credit. (Full year course)

Theater

CG Players Troupe

Based on a small-troupe model, this class will focus on the production of one of the year’s mainstage productions. Class will meet after school, and students who are enrolled (on an audition-only basis) will be guaranteed participation in the play. Students can choose to focus on acting, directing, or dramaturgy, but will be involved in all aspects of rehearsal for the show. This course can be taken more than once for credit. (After school; fall, winter, and spring)

CG Theater Tech

This class will support all of the events happening in the Cabell and Black Box theaters throughout the entire school year by building sets and preparing all of the technical needs for each production. Students will have the opportunity to learn by doing in the areas of lighting, sound, costumes, props and sets. Interested students can participate in design for any of the Cabell Center productions. These students will support the technical needs for assemblies and special events in both theaters. This class will help to manage the theater and take care of its every need. Students will learn by doing. If you enjoy working with your hands, problem solving and becoming part of a team, this is the class for you. This course is open to all Upper School Students and can be taken more than once for credit. (Fall and/or spring course)

Directing: From Page to Stage

This class will teach the fundamental skills a director needs to work with a script, actors and designers when directing a play. Students will learn how to bring plays to life from the text to the stage, as they develop their skills in staging and dramatic storytelling. (Spring course)

Introduction to Playwriting

This class will teach the fundamentals of playwriting and guide students through the process of writing a play. Students will write, revise and workshop their plays, learning to put playwriting principles into practice. This class will culminate with in-class readings for an invited audience of the short plays they have completed. (Fall course)

Performance Intensive: Acting

This class will teach the foundation of Stanislavski’s System of acting and how it can be applied to the theatre and film. Students will explore scene study and selected texts, as well as the physical, vocal, and emotional aspects of their actor instruments. This class will culminate with in-class scenes and monologues that are presented for an invited audience. This is a beginners-level class, open to all Upper School Students. (Spring course)

Theater for Social Change

This class is designed to lead students through the process of creating social change around issues pertinent to their own lives through various forms of performance activism. This will also explore the theatrical techniques inspired by the works of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, Luis Valdez’s El Teatro Campesino, Moises Kaufman’s Tectonic Theatre Company and Cornerstone Theatre Company. (Fall course)

Global Online Academy (GOA)

(Note: Global Online Academy classes are electives that do not count toward the 2-year Arts requirement.)

Architecture

In this course, students build understanding and apply skills in aspects of site; structure, space and design.While gaining key insights into the roles of architectural analysis, materials, 3D design, and spatial awareness, students develop proficiency in architectural visual communication. We begin by learning the basic elements of architectural design to help analyse and understand architectural solutions. Then, through using digital and physical media use models to enhance visual communication, students study the role building materials play in architectural design, developing an understanding of the impact materials have on structural design and cultural traditions. At each stage of the course students interact with peers from around the globe, learning and sharing how changes in materials, technology, and construction techniques lead to the evolution of contemporary architecture style and visual culture. The course culminates with a final project in which each aspiring architect will have the opportunity to work towards a personal presentation for the GOA Catalyst Conference. Students will, through a variety of outcomes, present an architectural intervention which they have proposed as a solution to an identified need, one emanating from or focused within their own community. Throughout the course students will refer to the design process and will use visual journaling techniques to track, reflect and evidence their burgeoning understanding of architecture, construction, and engineering. (Spring semester)

Digital Photography

In an era where everyone has become a photographer obsessed with documenting most aspects of life, we swim in a sea of images, whether posted on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, or another digital medium. Yet what does taking a powerful and persuasive photo with a 35mm digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera require? Digital photography explores this question in a variety of ways, beginning with the technical aspects of using and taking advantage of a powerful camera then moving to a host of creative questions and opportunities. Technical topics such as aperture, shutter, white balance, and resolution get ample coverage in the first half of the course, yet each is pursued with the goal of enabling students to leverage the possibilities that come with manual image capture. Once confident about technical basics, students apply their skills when pursuing creative questions such as how to understand and use light, how to consider composition, and how to take compelling portraits. Throughout the course, students tackle projects that enable sharing their local and diverse settings, ideally creating global perspectives through doing so. Additionally, students interact with each other often through critique sessions and collaborative exploration of the work of many noteworthy professional photographers, whose images serve to inspire and suggest the diverse ways that photography tells visual stories. Prerequisite: Students must have daily access to a DSLR camera. (Spring semester)

Filmmaking

This course is for students interested in developing their skills as filmmakers and creative problem-solvers. It is also a forum for screening the work of their peers and providing constructive feedback for revisions and future projects, while helping them to develop critical thinking skills. The course works from a set of specific exercises based on self-directed research and builds to a series of short experimental films that challenge students on both a technical and creative level. Throughout, we will increasingly focus on helping students express their personal outlooks and develop their unique styles as filmmakers. We will review and reference short films online and discuss how students might find inspiration and apply what they find to their own works. Prerequisite: Students must have access to an HD video camera, tripod or other stabilizing equipment, and editing software such as iMovie, Premiere Pro, etc. (Fall semester)

Graphic Design

What makes a message persuasive and compelling? What helps audiences and viewers sort and make sense of information? This course explores the relationship between information and influence from a graphic design perspective. Using an integrated case study and design-based approach, this course aims to deepen students’ design, visual, and information literacies. Students are empowered to design and prototype communication projects about which they are passionate. Topics include: principles of design and visual communication, infographics, digital search skills, networks and social media, persuasion and storytelling with multimedia, and social activism on the internet. Student work will include individual and collaborative group projects, graphic design, content curation, some analytical and creative writing, peer review and critiques, and online presentations. (Fall or spring semester)

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Catlin Gabel Arts

From preschool through the senior year, the arts build on each other and are taught in an environment of trust and respect that enables creation and performance, integrating and make connections throughout all disciplines.

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