Silver Chips Online

Blair offers new art electives

Fashion Drawing and Design, Digital Art 2, Digital Photography and World Drumming are new classes this year

By Lily Gates, Online Features Editor
September 14, 2012
Blair introduced four new classes -- Fashion Drawing and Design, Digital Art 2, Digital Photography and World Drumming -- to the fine arts curriculum this school year in order to give students a diverse introduction to fine arts.

The new Fashion Drawing and Design (FDD) teacher Jacqueline Armstead hopes that the new classes have wide appeal to the Blair community. "We want to stay more competitive with other schools in the county and reach out to as many Blair students as possible," Armstead said.

The FDD curriculum includes creating two-dimensional and digital figure drawing, as well as elements of fashion. According to Armstead, the class has been well received. "There is good interest and energy in the classes. Everyone is interested in doing the projects," she said. FDD is an Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) pilot course also offered at Wootton and Blake High Schools.

Armstead also teaches Digital Art 2, a continuation of Digital Art 1. According to Armstead, Digital Art 2 gives students a more rigorous expansion on Photoshop. "Students are learning how to make art on the computer to express themselves," Armstead said.

Blair music teacher Adam Stephens proposed the new World Drumming course offered this year. The course incorporates a variety of drumming techniques from around the world including Asia, Australia, Africa and the United States. Some forms of percussion that are taught include poetry to drums, using everyday objects to create music known as STOMP, marching band and orchestral drumming. According to Stephens, the course is going well. "We’ve had some laughs while making up our own grooves," Stephens said.

World Drumming is geared towards any student, with or without musical experience, interested in learning a unique type of music. "I encourage anyone interested in trying something new to sign up," Stephens said.

Kelly Crowder teaches Digital Photography, replacing Photography 1 as an introductory photography course. Until this year, Photography 1 incorporated using some darkroom techniques to develop photographs. However, as a result of budget cuts, these aspects were removed from the curriculum. Students must enroll in Advanced Photography 2 or 3 in order to learn how to use the darkroom, though Crowder wishes that Digital Photography students could also learn darkroom techniques. "It's more fun manipulating photography, and it gives them a chance to do things they haven’t done before," Crowder said.

These additional classes are designed to gauge student interest in the fine arts department. The fine arts department encourages students to participate in the new courses and possibly discover a new talent and passion in art.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/11691