Visual Arts

Creativity on Campus

The Houston Christian visual arts department gives students the opportunity to appreciate artists from the past and help create artists of the future by discovering and exploring their personal talents and abilities. There are a variety of options to choose from including beginning, advanced and advanced placement classes in Drawing and Painting, 3D Art and Ceramics, Photography, Integrated Media Productions, Video Technology, and Yearbook.
The visual arts department enters students in various competitions throughout the year including Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (multiple Silver and Gold Keys at the local level), Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Art Competition (five blue ribbons), National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Houston Buzz Magazine’s photography competition, Texas Art Education Association Visual Arts Scholastic Event (Gold Seal recipient at the national level in 2018), PhotoGuru (first place photo in black/white), and Association of Texas Photography Instructors.
Art is displayed continually throughout the campus and at a spring art show and in conjunction with performing arts, showcases student artists. The visual arts department also collaborates with the English department to produce Magnum Opus, an annually published writing and visual arts literary magazine. The magazine is open to all students as an after-school club, and promotes writing across the curriculum with high quality visual artwork. All these opportunities grow and develop students' artistic abilities year-round and in different ways.

Visual Arts Curriculum

List of 10 items.

  • Art - Drawing and Painting Advanced

    Advanced Art is a continuation of Art 1 and for students who are seriously interested in the practical experiences of visual art and have developed a strong technical skill set. Students are expected to apply these skills creatively as they develop a portfolio of work representing  their unique artistic vision. Students work with a variety of media and study techniques in art, including the relevance of past artists. Students build from previous art classes and grow while acquiring skills necessary to make higher-level decisions in composition and individual project direction. Students experiment with layering of mediums and available materials for individual expression. Students will have a portfolio that demonstrates a written skillful synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas along with their best works of art. This course can be taken for one or two years.  Prerequisite:  Art 1-Drawing and Painting and department approval. Students must be in grades 10-12.
  • Art 1 Drawing and Painting

     Art 1 focuses on understanding, recognizing, and implementing the Elements and Principles of Art & Design in planning, developing, documenting, creating, and written critique of original works of art. Students will demonstrate this through the use of different media and techniques including: Drawing (graphite, inks, prisma), and Painting (acrylic and watercolor), Printmaking, 3D hand building with clay, etc. Students learn how to critique art works. Students also have a daily overview of Art History through warm-up activities completed in their sketchbooks. Students grow and acquire skills necessary to advance to different levels of courses offered. Open to all grade levels.
  • Art 3-D/Ceramics

     This is a foundational course using 3D and 2D materials with an emphasis on sculpture and ceramics. Students explore the Elements of Art and apply the Principles of Design in planning, developing, documenting, creating, and writing critiques of original works of art. Students will study alternative firing techniques, the pottery wheel, contemporary artists, and art history as they make cultural connections and explore realities, relationships, and ideas. Students develop artwork that demonstrates an understanding of a variety of media and problem-solving skills. (Open to grades 10 - 12)
  • Art 3D/Ceramics Advanced

    This course further develops three-dimensional skills through the use of advanced concepts and processing in clay and jewelry making, with a variety of other media. Students also take a look at how ceramics and sculpture are an integral part of outdoor art, installation, and conceptual art making. Students will have a portfolio that demonstrates a written skillful synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas along with their best works of art. This portfolio can be used towards their AP portfolio the following year.  Prerequisite: Art - 3D/Ceramics and instructor approval.
  • Art Photography & Digital Media

    This course helps students become well rounded in the fundamentals of digital photography. Four areas of instruction are emphasized: how cameras work, how composition works, how lighting works, how to use photo editing software. Students explore the Elements of Art and apply the Principles of Design in planning, developing, documenting, creating, and written critique of original works of art. Students receive instruction, demonstration, and view samples of the desired outcomes at the beginning of each lesson. They sometimes explore outside the classroom and shoot assignments based on what they are learning. Classroom instruction includes daily reviews of photos students have shot the previous day(s). They discover what makes a successful photo and what does not.  Students must provide their own DSLR camera; Open to all grade levels. 
  • Art Photography & Digital Media Advanced

    Advanced Photography & Digital Media is a second-year course that focuses on techniques that will aid students to express their ideas through various types of visual communication. Through photography, graphic design and digital media students will develop their creative concepts with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Design principles, elements of art, history of art and art criticism learned in Photography & Digital Media Arts level 1 will be built upon in Advanced Photography & Digital Media. Students will also build skills of critical thinking, problem solving, and aesthetics. Students will have a digital portfolio that demonstrates a written summary of content, processes, and a photo essay along with their best works of art. A digital portfolio is compiled and work is displayed throughout the year. Students must provide their own DSLR camera. Prerequisite:  Photography (introductory).
  • Integrated Media Productions

    This course will include a focus on marketing, fine arts and digital media technology.   Students will gain skills in multimedia and interactive design, digital graphics, social media marketing, advertising, photography and videography production, as well as product development and delivery. Students must have their own digital 35mm camera. They will apply the principles and elements of design as they relate to each area of content, and participate in an end of year product identity project that will include product design, logos and packaging, website design, video and audio commercials and social media advertising. This course is helpful for those interested in marketing, graphic design or business.  Prerequisite: department approval, and priority given to students who have taken a visual arts course; for students in grades 10-12.
  • Studio Art AP

    The AP Program offers three portfolios: AP Drawing (traditional drawing), 2-D Art and Design (design heavy drawing, painting, collage, digital drawing, and photography), and 3-D Art and Design (Use of any 3D materials such as clay, wood, and metal).  The Studio Art Portfolio has a basic, two-section structure basic, two-section structure, which requires the student to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual concerns (and methods). The portfolio asks the student to demonstrate a depth of investigation and process of discovery through the Sustained Investigation section. Students will submit images and writing to document their inquiry-guided investigation through practice, experimentation, and revision: The Selected Works section permits the student to select the works that best exhibit a synthesis of form, technique, and content.  Students will submit works of art and design and writing to demonstrate skillful synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas: Acceptable works come from work done in class or on the students’ own time and may cover a period longer than a single school year. Prerequisite:  Any Advanced Art course and instructor approval.  Open only to grades 11-12.
  • Video Technology

    This video/media class offers students hands-on training in filmmaking, digital video skills, and broadcast skills. Students learn advanced skills in using digital cameras, non-linear editing software and broadcast studio equipment. The emphasis is on learning skills and techniques including planning, producing, directing, editing and performing for video. Team and individual productions are produced as well as a daily video television program broadcast to the entire student body. The course emphasizes creating a flexible and creative working atmosphere stressing professional productivity and responsible and mature broadcasting standards.  This course may be taken for 1 or 2 years. Prerequisite:  application and instructor approval. Open to 11-12 grades. 
  • Yearbook & Journalism

    Students are responsible for planning and publishing the yearbook using journalism techniques, computer software programs, digital technology and photography.  The course exposes students to the information and techniques required to produce all necessary copy, photos, and layouts for the publication of a yearbook. As the yearbook is produced, sales and business management practices are developed. This course may be taken for 1-3 years.  Prerequisite:  Instructor approval.  Open to grades 10-12.