All St. Francis High School sophomores achieve classical drawing skills in a range of media; experience the collaborative creation of conceptual art; and explore an introduction to art history in the Foundation Studio Art course. Each year, students (some with relatively little art experience) complete this course producing impressive, exhibition-quality work. Juniors and seniors are offered elective courses in Advanced Art, Photography, and/or Video. Student work is showcased in an annual art show each spring.
At easels and tables in an airy environment lit by skylights, students find their innate creative abilities. Current work is on display in the hallways. The classroom is informally structured to encourage students to work individually yet find encouragement and inspiration from classmates around them.
Intellectual rigor is encouraged, and classroom discussions open for students a view into the latest trends in major art centers around the world. Installation and performance art are collaborative work at St. Francis, sparking a creative excitement that comes with working cooperatively. Students whose creativity is best expressed intellectually find this an especially engaging project.
Art students are asked to keep open minds and work thoughtfully. Their shared experiences with art-making are discussed in critiques that emphasize each person’s growth and unique vision.
Perceptions are challenged in discussions that lead to a greater appreciation of the unlimited range of expressiveness.
St. Francis High School Fine Arts teachers are designated as artists-in-residence. The goal of the artist-in-residence is to find the unique individual voice that presents itself in any given media and to encourage its growth. All the artists-in-residence have active professional careers distinguished by years of dedication to their crafts and by reputations that extend beyond the city limits. Their career focus provides a window into the highly competitive world of art as a profession.