Visual Arts

The Visual Arts at Oakwood gives students a comprehensive 360 degree education in art including the history of art, the various mediums and the how-to applications for them to explore and express their own creativity. Students’ artwork is showcased throughout the school as well as in the community.  Exhibit opportunities include The Greenville Museum of Art and Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge. 

Learn more about visual arts in each school division

Lower School

In Lower School (Pre K - 3rd grade), the elements of art and principles of design are the foundation for the art program. Students view the work of artists who lived during various historical periods and in various regions of the world and study their methods to gain understandings of beliefs, ideas, values, and histories of cultures. Students use math, reading, and writing skills to explore art concepts and aid in the learning process. Students develop artistic skills through practice and observation. The goals of the Lower School art program are to help children learn to “see” in a way that they can translate into art and to develop a love of art while having fun with the process.

Middle School

In Middle School (4th - 7th grade), there are several goals of the art program:

  • to help students grow in their appreciation of art

  • to demonstrate that there are many media through which man expresses herself/himself artistically

  • to teach students that artists create their own styles and that their work is often categorized in terms of movements

  • to guide students in developing their own artistic sensibilities

  • to plan lessons that pave the way for students to create their own art work

In art classes, students explore different art techniques such as drawing, painting, working with clay, creating sculptures and collages, printmaking, and computer graphics. They also use sketchbooks to plan and problem-solve ideas for projects and to record their imaginings, observations, and impressions of interesting images. Projects are integrated with the content of the core curricula at each grade level, which make for a rich offering. Project examples include a fourth grade computer animation using the Alice software program and a paper and pulp trash monster made from recycled materials for the Unnatural Resources Fair that coordinates with the study of the environment; a fifth grade watercolor of a peaceable kingdom based on the folk tale “The Gentle People” read during the students’ study of Latin America; string art to coordinate with grid studies in math, and creations made using the GeoSketchpad software to dovetail with the students’ study of geometry; a sixth grade paper maché mask to represent a figure in Greek mythology and a sketch of a mythological monster made using Scratchboard program, both coordinated with the students’ study of ancient Greece; a seventh grade spirit mask using African stylized design and foil to simulate Egyptian metal work; and a mandala design made from chalk pastels to coordinate with the study of Asian religions. Art students use their computers to conduct research on the Internet and by the end of Middle School, they are skilled in using various art software such as Alice, photo editing programs, PowerPoint, and GeoSketchpad.

Upper School

In Upper School (8th-12th grade), students take art as an elective and are encouraged to develop an aesthetic sense toward all art forms. Offerings are sophisticated and medium-centric. Oakwood encourages and honors individual student interest and passion.

Our Art Exploration classes offer students an opportunity to pursue the medium of their choice in a studio setting. Students may choose to work with painting, sketching, digital photography or media graphics. Our Ceramics class offers students the opportunity to create ceramic pieces through all stages.