Strathcona High School

Facts & Figures: 86 Teachers & Support Staff

Visual Art

The knowledge that Strathcona artists are receiving is most definitely rare in public education. The curriculum has been carefully designed to impart valuable lessons in drawing, painting, design, and art history. Students are rigorously trained both artistically and academically in order to gain mastery over their art. Through practice, study, analysis, reading, and extensive research, students learn to apply their intelligence to the art they create. 

One of the ways that the Visual artists learn about their artistic heritage is by studying the works of the masters who have come before them. By analyzing their work and realizing the design systems they were using, these students are tapping into centuries of great draftsmanship and knowledge.  

It is not the job of the artist to copy all that he or she sees in reality. It is their responsibility as a trained artist to select, emphasize, exaggerate, and purposely distort things he or she sees. This may be what Aristotle was describing when he said, "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." 

The ultimate goal for the graduates of the Strathcona Visual Art program is to become so confident with their skills that freedom and authority is attained and evident in their work. It really is true that education evokes a sense of freedom. This definitely holds true for the young artists who have been trained and educated at Strathcona in order to become fine artists. When a person is properly trained in art, all of the beautiful imaginings in one's mind become completely possible on paper or canvas, in clay or stone, or in a product design or animation. A raw talent who has been sharpened into an owner of refined skills knows no boundaries.

Strathcona offers Graphic Arts, Art, or Art Advanced Placement. These areas of study offer excellent opportunities for students to create through many visual art forms.

The Visual Arts curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art production using a wide variety of media. Their course of study is designed to prepare them to enter institutions of higher education as well as the commercial field. Basic instruction includes studies in drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, composition, aesthetics, assessment and criticism. Students will deepen their knowledge and skills through sustained studio experiences in advanced studios and Advanced Placement Portfolio courses. With the completion of a portfolio representing the skill and creativity developed in the visual art program, many students have earned scholarships for advanced study.


Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate art proficiency and production skills in their area of concentration.
  • Develop art work for commissions, marketing and sale.
  • Understand the preparation for career opportunities in the various areas of art professions.
  • Compete for art scholarships and grants on par with students nationally.
  • Enter a college or university visual arts program with knowledge and skills exceeding the level of a typical entering college freshman.
  • Speak from a historical and cultural perspective when critiquing works of art.
  • Participate in regional and national competitions and exhibitions related to art studies.
  • Present a portfolio of accomplishments to universities, colleges, conservatories and prospective employers.