VISUAL ARTS EXPLORATORY:
All students attending Central take the Visual Arts Exploratory for 9 to 10 weeks in each year, in Grades 6, 7 & 8.
Each year, students continue to build their knowledge base, learning new skills & techniques using traditional media(s). Throughout the 30 weeks the students become very creative exploring drawing, painting, print-making and sculpting. Varying Medias including: pen & ink, charcoal, graphite, conte, tempera paint, water colour, and acrylic paints which are utilized in our 2-D studio. Wire, wood, plaster sculptures and hand-built ceramics & glass fusion in our kilns, are created in our 3-D studio.
Using The Elements of Art: LINE, SHAPE, COLOUR, FORM, VALUE, TEXTURE, & SPACE as well as, The Principles of Design: BALANCE, MOVEMENT, RHYTHM, CONTRAST, EMPHASIS, PATTERN and UNITY, students are doing exercises and creating beautiful works of Art.
VISUAL ARTS ENRICHMENT:
“Time For Art” is offered three times a year on Wednesdays for 84 minutes in our Enrichment block. Students have 10 weeks to create their own work, or to finish a project. Using the well-equipped studios, students have access to and request specialty supplies, get advice and often watch film with critiques. Banners for dances, posters and craft fair items are also created in this most popular Enrichment. Each grade gets their first choice of placement of their choice once a year!
VISUAL ARTS CONTESTS:
Central students have a strong tradition of entering and winning many contests! Each year many students elect to enter the International PEACE POSTER contest hosted by the Lions’ Clubs International. We create “Super-Bowls-Of Hope” donating the monies raised to help our local homeless people. Each year there is an Agenda Cover Design Contest, the Firefighter’s Poster Contest, The Remembrance Day contest(s), and many more!
PROJECT- BASED LEARNING IN VISUAL ARTS:
Central is very fortunate to have the space, technology and expertise to offer Project–Based Learning in ART. Division teachers consult with the PBL team including the Librarian, to research and investigate a range of topics in Social Studies, Science, Math and Language Arts. Then they come into the art studios for a desired amount of time to produce projects that are student driven inquiry.
Some examples include:
Medieval Journals with hand-made paper, traditional calligraphy using Pen & Ink, with illuminated manuscripts, hand sewn and bound on natural canvas, with “in-role” writing.
Science Fair Boards, Otzee Museum Artifacts, in clay &wood, 3-D working Volcanoes, Making Math manipulatives, Mandala Designs, Designing Team Logos, Human Anatomy in Paper Mache, Designing and painting Props, Sewing costumes, and many more!
Donna Larouche Visual Arts Teacher Auto-Biography
This is my 20th year of teaching, on the Lower Island & in Victoria Public schools. I graduated from The University of Victoria with my Degree in Visual Arts in 1995. When I first began here, it was still a Junior High. One of my first tasks was to redesign the school Crest to reflect the reconfiguration into ‘Middle School’. I have completed a multitude of Community Based Projects throughout my time here. I have worked with many guest & resident artists including: Ted Harrison, Jason Balaam, Pho Nhan, Gordon Friesen & Andrew Dick. I have hosted the Mosaic The City, & have built 3 Mosaics and completed ‘The Map Project’. I directed the VIMY RIDGE PROJECT, have worked with the Toastmasters and taken several teams to win DESTINATION IMAGINATION!
I have worked closely with The ART GALLERY of Greater Victoria, inviting The Gallery In The Schools Program(S) and THE OPEN SPACE Gallery. I was on THE TRACKSIDE ART GALLERY committee, and have presented several Workshops for the MY ABC Middle School Conference(s), entitled “Running an Excellent and Enriching Middle School Visual Arts Program”. I have been a guest lecturer at The University of Victoria for Assessment in the Arts, and have had many student teachers complete their practicums with me. I have spent many hours designing and painting scenes and props for our Theatrical productions.
I have been the Visual Arts Specialists, teaching Art to all grades, and have taught many different courses, as well as, being the Gifted Advisor & International Students Advisor, for over 10 years. I have taught: ESL ELL, Learning Assistance, English 8 and Science 8. I also proudly wear the ‘hat’ of Central’s Archival Specialist! My fondest memory was having my youngest daughter attend Central for her Middle School years!
One the most satisfying roles I’ve fulfilled was being part of the Seismic Upgrading Committee(s), having the opportunity to help redesign our school; including running community contests to find the imagery to be set in concrete the outside walls. Working closely with the architects, much input was given into re-designing the 2 Visual Arts Studios. This wonderful opportunity allowed major decisions to be made like: retaining the original 1954 desks & stools, and the sink. Then designing and building new students’ individual cubbies, and display cabinetry with lights, – designing the moving white boards and the pony wall between the 2-D and 3-D studios.
Prior to landing here at Central, I taught Visual Arts at Mount Douglas Secondary, Parklands Secondary, Colquitz Junior High, Reynolds Senior Secondary and Oak Bay Senior Secondary.