The Visual and Media Arts Programme at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts aims to develop student skills in a variety of traditional and contemporary art techniques, to familiarize them with a wide range of art materials, and to provide them with a solid foundation of art historical knowledge. The program offers a balance between the development of technical skills and the nurturing of creative thinking skills through a variety of structured exercises and open-ended creation assignments. Our curriculum reflects trends in contemporary visual arts education, which is regularly updated and refined, in order to best prepare students for a variety of post-secondary education paths.
Our junior-level art courses provide general overviews of art techniques and media. Grade 9 Visual Arts is a foundation year, in which students are introduced to a wide variety of art materials and techniques, knowledge of fundamental building blocks of aesthetic theory, and basic art-making skills. The following year, students may take Grade 10 Media Arts, which provides introductory knowledge and experience in photography, computer graphics, film and video.
In Grade 11, students have the opportunity to take a variety of medium-specific specialized art courses. We offer several courses in traditional media (Drawing & Painting, Life Drawing, Sculpture) and new media (Photography, Film & Video), as well as a number of hybrid courses (Printmaking & Graphic Design, which examines traditional and contemporary graphic arts, and Non-Traditional Media, which examines contemporary conceptual art practices, using both traditional techniques and new media). We also offer a Grade 12 Visual Arts course, which focuses principally on 20th century art history, materials and methods of the artist, and portfolio preparation.
Our facilities include: one of the largest wet darkrooms still in operation in the TDSB, a printmaking and graphics lab, a film/video computer lab, a sculpture and life-drawing studio, and a large painting and drawing studio. As there is significant green space on the grounds of the school, many of the studios have spectacular views of inner gardens or the Don Valley, ideal for observational drawing assignments. Our location on the subway line is convenient for field trips to galleries and the AGO, and our proximity to Queen East has led to collaborative relationships with local arts organizations such as the Hangman Gallery (the site of a yearly Grade 12 Photography, Painting, and Graphics/Print exhibition), the Artists’ Network, and the Riverdale Art Walk. In addition to being able to view the work of professionals, our students have the opportunity to view the fruits of their own labours and those of their classmates at our year-end art show, which takes over the hallways and art studios during the month of May.
The goal of our program is to provide students skills and knowledge in order to best prepare them in a variety of roles as future art-makers, creative thinkers, and appreciators of visual arts.