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Visual Arts

MIDDLE SCHOOL VISUAL ARTS

The Thaden Middle School Visual Arts program introduces students to the formal qualities of art as a vehicle for developing observational skills and artistic expression. Students experiment with many different types of media with many techniques and 2-D and 3-D processes, such as ceramics, acrylic, and charcoal. Group reflection is introduced as a means of understanding the interdisciplinary role of art in society and how to express one’s opinion with purpose.  Every course develops or extends on digital portfolios that allow students to document and reflect on their artistic process. As a program, Thaden School is uniquely positioned to utilize local resources – such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary – to expose students to local artists and contemporary and historical works of art. Students also have the opportunity to engage in art clubs and art exhibitions at the local and state level.

UPPER SCHOOL VISUAL ARTS

In the Thaden School Upper School Visual Art Program, students build on artistic knowledge, skills, and techniques through various unique electives. The Arts courses offer a breadth of opportunities from technical skill development with guided instruction to expressive “meaning-making” projects and choice-based sustained investigation. Courses also expose students to various historical and contemporary artists, art styles, and art vocabulary that broaden their understanding of the complex role of visual art in society.  Students can choose from various mediums, from fiber arts to acrylic painting to ceramics, to name a few. They are encouraged to navigate complex topics to develop more personal themes and narratives in their work. Every course develops or extends  a digital portfolio that allows students to document and reflect on their artistic process. All students also participate in exhibitions to showcase their work. As a program, Thaden School is uniquely positioned to utilize local resources – such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Momentary and the Arts program at the University of Arkansas – to expose students to rising local artists and contemporary and historical works of art. Students also have the opportunity to engage in art clubs and art exhibitions at the local and state level.

Shows and Exhibitions

Student Accolades

Arts Across Arkansas - Three students were selected as the Arts Across Program finalists: David Rios ‘26, Hayoung Song ‘26, and Addison Reibling ‘25. David Rios won first place for the state of Arkansas!


Arkansas Young Artist Association Competition and Convention - Four students received awards: Sophie Novick ‘23 2nd Place - Portraits Realistic, 4th Place - On-Site Pencil/Graphite; David Rios ‘26 1st Place - First-Year Painting, 4th Place - Ceramics Nonfunctional;  Austin Krug ‘25 Honorable Mention - Digital Imagery; Anna Raymond ‘23 1st Place - On-Site Competition Sculpture, 2nd Place - Ceramics Functional, 3rd Place - Printmaking - Relief, Honorable Mention-Ceramics Nonfunctional


Competitive Summer Programs - artWAYS and University of Arkansas School of Art’s Summer Arts Workshops - Upper school students Meadow McGinnis ‘25, Adam Roth ‘26, and Eleanor Deschamps ‘26 were selected for arts programs during the summer of 2023.  


Arkansas Arts Educators Regional Art Show - Faith Friddle ‘25 won first place for Grade 10 for her painting, and Mason Strimbu ‘24 won first place for Grade 11 for his drawing. These students’ works will go onto a statewide exhibition.


Wildlife of Arkansas Student Art Contest - Autumn Nguyen placed 1st, Eliza Stewart placed 2nd, and CJ Pack placed 3rd in the Grade 7 competition.


 

Visual Arts Faculty

Sarah Benson

Sarah Benson

Assistant Head of Middle School, Visual Arts Faculty
Nina Buonaiuto

Nina Buonaiuto

Visual Arts Faculty

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