Visual art allows us to become keen observers, practice ultimate creativity, and communicate visually. At The Sterling Hall School, art starts with our outstanding studio facilities with high ceilings and amazing north-facing natural light that give boys the space to play and create, explore creativity, discover feelings, and experiment with their ideas and understanding of the world.
In the art studio, students experiment with new forms, including drawing painting, sculpture, ceramics (fired in our own kiln!), photography, animation, glass workshops, print making and mixed media. They learn self-expression, and discover how they can communicate through shape and colour and form. Art is often collaborative, and becomes interdisciplinary as projects connect with other subjects—when kindergarten students were learning about space, they made astronauts for their rockets using design thinking.
Our Grade 3 students redesigned common tools in their study of manufacturing and our Grade 7 boys wrote monologues in their Humanities class to complement their study of graffiti in art. Many boys of all ages come to the studio during recess, and it’s also a place of collaboration where older boys lend a hand to younger students.
There is also an opportunity to go outside the art classroom through visits to local galleries, as well as to experience contemporary Canadian artists coming into the studio through our visiting artists program where artists work with our boys, and contribute their art to the Sterling Collection. We also connect with other subjects, expressing through art, what boys are studying.
Art class also includes reflective components and problem solving. Boys are regularly prompted to think about their artistic vision and how to communicate it, or solve a problem like how to storyboard a scene for a stop-motion animation project. In senior grades, boys propose their own projects, developing artists statements and following their passions with electives that focus on specialties such as animation, digital arts, or photography.