Pennsylvania’s leading Catholic Day School for Boys, Grades 9-12

Visual Art

empty art room

The Fine Arts student at La Salle is challenged to stretch his imagination as he actively searches for ways to express his ideas and communicate with others by playing music, singing, or visual art. 

This artistic pursuit demands a different kind of learning and thinking.  The Fine Arts classes provoke curiosity, require seeing issues from multiple angles, test problem-solving skills, and encourage students to practice self-critique.  As students gain a sense of accomplishment, they build intrinsic motivation and their confidence is boosted. 

The Fine Arts teachers seek to balance academic training and the aim of producing quality performances or products with the daily quest for more moments of gratification and inspiration.  The result is often that our students find their Fine Arts classes to be welcome respites from the daily academic demands. 

Fine Arts students pursue their passions or seek new ones at La Salle through scheduled classes with talented and dedicated teachers who themselves practice their trades and are examples of lifelong learners and lovers of the arts.   

Fine Arts Faculty

Mr. Michael Hearn

Mr. Michael Hearn

Ms. Cornelia Kietzman

Ms. Cornelia Kietzman

Fine Arts Courses Offered

Foundations Art (Freshman Elective)

This course is offered to students interested in a variety of authentic art making experiences. The focus is on design as students gain experience in idea development through research and experimentation. Drawing is the lead off to assembling, painting, sculpting, ceramics, printmaking, paper crafts and presenting.

.5 Credit/full year (meets 3/6 days)

Drawing 1 (Sophomore / Junior / Senior Elective)

This course is structured to give students a working knowledge of drawing as a visual language. Traditional and experimental techniques are emphasized through observation and experimentation. Building a portfolio of work, students experience a variety of media, including graphite, charcoal, collage, pastel, conté crayon, India ink, and mixed media. Students learn through investigation, practice, and writing to develop ideas in drawing, articulate imagery, interpret three-dimensional reality on a two-dimensional plane, and push beyond pre-conceived self-limits.

.5 Credit/semester

Drawing 2 (Sophomore / Junior / Senior Elective)

Drawing 2 focuses on experimenting with drawing styles and developing creative autonomy to drawing. Exploring themes in composition, portraiture and gesture drawing are included with mixed media and digital media as a means to experimental processes. These could include: layered drawings with textural and relief qualities, distortion, reflection, gesture, use of color, monotypes and transparencies. Research, visual documentation, compositional studies, and goal setting shape the course experience.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Drawing 1

.5 Credit/semester

Painting 1 (Sophomore / Junior / Senior Elective)

This course is structured to give students a working knowledge of painting techniques, and applying principles of color theory and design. Using a variety of media, students explore landscapes, still life, portraiture, graphic and abstract design. Researching and documenting examples in class and beyond the classroom, students create goals, practice in studio, and participate in group discussions. Students learn to integrate language and analysis along with the painting process.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Drawing 1.

1 Credit/full year

Painting 2 (Junior / Senior Elective)

Painting 2 focuses on broadening the range of painting experiences to include expression, dimension, relief, and abstraction. Students will be challenged to intensify their investigation of color, form, and surface through the studio process and through research on artists and art forms. The course materials include watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, paper, panel and canvas painting.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Drawing 1 and Painting 1.

1 Credit/full year

Ceramics 1 (Sophomore / Junior / Senior Elective)

An introduction of the techniques and history of ceramics and the creation of pieces in three-dimensional form. Basic hand building techniques will be taught with low fired clay bodies, glazing techniques, and kiln firing processes.

.5 Credit/semester

Ceramics 2 (Sophomore / Junior / Senior Elective)

An introduction to throwing clay on the pottery wheel. Students are encouraged to start with cylinders to perfect centering of the clay. Hand building techniques will be incorporated to enlarge or embellish pieces thrown on the wheel.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Ceramics 1.

.5 Credit/semester

Advanced Ceramics (Independent Study, Senior Elective)

This is an independent study offered to seniors who have completed Ceramics 1 and 2. The student must make arrangements with the teacher for class availability. Students are encouraged to explore history and culture to develop a personal artistic style.
Prerequisite: By arrangement with teacher.

1 Credit/full year

Sculpture 1 (Sophomore / Junior / Senior Elective)

Sculpture is the art of using many different materials to transform an idea into a three-dimensional form. Students will be introduced to both traditional and contemporary form-making to produce sculptures that reflect their ideas and society.

.5 Credit/semester

Sculpture 2 (Junior / Senior Elective)

Sculpture 2 allows students to create three-dimensional forms by perfecting techniques to take on additional merit and refinement. By exploring movement, balance, scale, and weight, students will have the availability to create larger pieces that reflect their ideas.

.5 Credit/semester

Advanced Sculpture (Independent Study, Senior Elective)

An independent study offered to seniors who have completed Sculpture 1 and 2. Students will investigate traditional materials and processes to expand their understanding of three-dimensional forms. Exploration of new methods and materials will help students enhance a personal response to their work.
Prerequisite: By arrangement with teacher.

1 Credit/full year

Art Portfolio (Independent Study, Senior Elective)

Art Portfolio specifically addresses those students who are seeking a career in art and wish to apply to a college level art program, or who value visual arts as a self-defining skill. This course includes targeting those areas that need strengthening in each student’s artistic development and working towards creating a strong and cohesive body of work. Students who are enrolled in Art Portfolio are strongly urged to attend the annual National Portfolio day in the fall and have the option to take an additional art studio classes in supplemental pre-college programs.

1 Credit/full year