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Visual Arts

Visual Arts at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory fosters student understanding and appreciation of art through explorations in a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, collage and mixed media. Students develop their creative voice through assignments in both traditional and contemporary art in preparation of the public display of their artwork in the spring Art Show. Advanced Placement offerings include Art History, Studio Art for Drawing & Painting and Studio Art for Photography. The AP Art History and AP Studio Art for Photography blended format allows students to take advantage of a class outside of the normal rotation and/or in a blended format.

Studio Arts

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From Arts 1,2 to AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, our Studio Arts Program provides intensive and independent study in drawing, painting and 2D/3D mediums. Individual style, technical skill and a strong conceptual approach are emphasized in preparation for top-ranked college Arts programs. Students can also join Art In Action, an afterschool arts program to share and explore in visual arts. Extracurricular explorations in Abstract Expressionism, pet portraiture, and City Drawing offers our students a breadth of experiences to assist their development in Art. Students in our program continue on to various interdisciplinary arts programs in prestigious schools, such as Cal Arts, Parsons, New School, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Savannah College of Art and Design and Rhode Island School of Design.

Brian McHugh has worked as an artist, illustrator, High School Technical Director and Scenic Designer as well as having had the opportunity to help start a Maker Lab at Sacred Heart Cathedral. For the last twenty-one years he has taught art from Kindergarten to High School Advanced Placement Art classes. He currently teaches Art 1,2, Art 3,4 and our Studio Art for Drawing & Painting as well as running our Art In Action Club.

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Photography & Design

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The Digital Photography Program cultivates visual storytelling, creativity, and technical skills through the camera lens. The introductory course establishes essential foundations of camera operation and fundamentals of art and design. Students develop their skills through photo walks and thematic still-life compositions. Students learn post-processing skills using Adobe Lightroom, which equips them with prowess in basic editing, color grading and masking. The Advanced Placement course offers a unique opportunity for exploration, allowing students to delve into a year-long portfolio. With a self-directed focus, students immerse themselves in meaningful explorations while becoming proficient in post-processing techniques and the ability to analyze and interpret artworks.

The Design Program fosters a creative community of skilled visual communicators. The course curriculum is rooted in the fundamentals of art and the principles of design through a wide variety of mixed media, including drawing, collage, painting, sculpture, and digital design through Adobe Photoshop. This holistic approach allows students to develop a versatile skill that deepens an appreciation for diverse creative processes. Some examples of student activities include hands-on projects, critiques and research. Students acquire technical expertise and develop individual design aesthetics, enabling them to convey clear and compelling visual narratives across a spectrum of artistic mediums.

Ms. Hannah Donkin is an Instructor of Visual Arts at SHCP specializing in digital photography and design. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from San Francisco State University. Hannah is dedicated to inspiring the artistic talents of her students through multiple creative projects and mediums that reflect her experience as a multifaceted artist. Outside the classroom, she passionately pursues her hobbies of photography and ceramics, further fueling her creative spirit and contributing to her well-rounded artistic identity.

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Art History

The AP Art History course utilizes a unique online format to introduce students to the art world on a global scale. Students engage with art forms and content as they discuss, read and write about art, artists and art-making. The course content consists of 250 works of art, characterized by diverse artistic traditions from prehistory to the present. The students develop an in-depth, holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. The course can be accomplished at the student’s own pace and they are able to do the work at a time of their choice. There are group lectures, field trips, and opportunities for travel. AP Art History is the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university art history survey course.

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