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Abstract painting.

Visual Arts & Design

Our Visual Arts & Design Major fosters artists with strong technical skills and critical thinking abilities, helping them to develop their own unique voices and confidence to take creative risks.

We go beyond formal skills to help our Visual Arts & Design students develop a deeper understanding of their art, life as a working artist, and the world around them. Our students create and learn in a collaborative environment where they respect one another’s artistic and scholarly endeavors.

All students begin in an exploratory program to gain a deeper understanding of art while building formal skills. Then, they are invited to deepen their study, choosing programs focused on Design and Visual Arts Communication, Studio Art, or Fashion Technology. This extensive study in the arts is balanced by a strong academic base in the Humanities, STEAM, and Literary Arts, preparing students for whatever path they choose to pursue. (Linked to these dept. pages)

Both the Design and Visual Arts Communication (DVC) and Fashion Technology (FT) programs are recognized as Chapter 74, meaning students get real-world experience for in-demand industries. DVC students are able to develop computer literacy skills, preparing them to take the Adobe Certified Associate exam in one or more programs, while FT students participate in internships and Boston’s annual Fashion Week.

In their first year, all Visual Arts & Design majors begin their time at BAA in an Exploratory Program designed to give students a broad overview of the fundamental concepts of art and graphic design.

Ninth Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Introductory Physics · Geometry · Humanities I · World Language or Learning Center · Orientation · Exploratory Studio Art I · Design & Visual Communication I · Fashion Technology I · Exhibitions I · Life Drawing I · Intro · Open Studio

Additional Academic Opportunities Open Honors · Dual Enrollment at Roxbury Community College (RCC)

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography · Design & Visual Communication

After the conclusion of the 9th Grade Exploratory Program, students select one of three programs: Design & Visual Arts Communication, Fashion Technology, and Studio Arts. Both Fashion Technology and Design & Visual Arts Communication are Career and Technical programs, which combine important life and employment skills with technical experiences.

Studio Art

The Studio Art program immerses students in their chosen artistic passion whether it be sculpture, paint, charcoal, or another medium while balancing their skillset with coursework in design and art history.

Tenth Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Biology · Algebra · Humanities II · World Language or Learning Center · Photo I · Design & Visual Communication II · Studio Art II · Life Drawing II · Open Studio

Offered | Not required
Studio M7

Additional Academic Opportunities
Open Honors · Dual Enrollment at Roxbury Community College (RCC)

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

Juries and Assessments
All Visual Arts & Design sophomores participate in the Sophomore Review Benchmark, which is a critique with written feedback of presented work. The critique provides written feedback, analyzing strength and areas for growth as well as establishing goals for junior and senior year. Work is reviewed on skill in design elements and principles, technique in digital and two- and three-dimensional materials, ability to conceive content, homework and classwork habits, reflection on strengths, and identification of growth areas.

Eleventh Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Chemistry · Advanced Algebra · Humanities III · Elective or Learning Center · Studio Arts III · Photo II · Design & Visual Communication III · Two Electives: Art History, Wearable Art, or Figure Drawing · Open Studio

Offered | Not Required
Studio M7

Additional Academic Opportunities
Open Honors · Spanish III · AP Biology

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

ProArts Dual Enrollment
Berklee & Boston Conservatory · Boston Architectural Center (BAC) · Emerson · Mass Art

BPS Dual Enrollment
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology · Bunker Hill · Roxbury Community College (RCC) · Suffolk University

Partnership
Vertex Science Summer Internship

Juries and Assessments
All Visual Arts & Design juniors participate in the Junior Exhibition. In addition to a final critique, students reflect upon and document their individual and collective growth, which will be shared with other students and faculty for feedback.

Twelfth Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Environmental Science · Probability and Statistics or AP Statistics or Dual Enrollment Calculus or Other College Math · Humanities IV · Elective or Learning Center · Design & Visual Communication IV · Design IV · Community Art Project · Two Electives: Art History, Wearable Art, Figure Drawing

Offered | Not required
Studio M7

Additional Academic Opportunities
Open Honors · AP Biology (elective) · AP Statistics · Seal of Biliteracy

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

ProArts Dual Enrollment
Berklee & Boston Conservatory · Boston Architectural Center (BAC) · Emerson · Mass Art

BPS Dual Enrollment
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology · Bunker Hill · Roxbury Community College (RCC) · Suffolk University · Cambridge College

Partnership
Vertex Summer and School-Year Internships

Juries and Assessments
Seniors ratify their work with Visual Arts faculty as well as prepare for exhibition, curate, promote, and hang their work for an audience consisting of community members and local artists. Students are asked to participate in a review and defense of their artwork, culminating in a written reflection.

Fashion Technology

The Fashion Technology program, recognized as Chapter 74, immerses students in the study of techniques, context, and the business of fashion as well as coursework in garment design and construction with a deep understanding of the fashion and merchandising industry.

Tenth Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Biology · Algebra · Humanities II · World Language or Learning Center · Fashion Technology II · Marketing and Merchandising II · Open Studio · Garment Construction · Apparel Design · Home Décor · Technical Knowledge and Skills · Marketing, Merchandising, and Careers · Intro to Techniques for Costume Construction

Additional Academic Opportunities Open Honors, Dual Enrollment at Roxbury Community College (RCC)

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

Juries and Assessments
Sophomores in the Fashion Technology Program will participate in a review that will include a critique of an exhibition and a miniature fashion show. The show will include students’ process work, one look, demonstrated proficiency in garment construction, Adobe Illustration, and figure drawing. Work will be evaluated by outside panelists from the field and BAA faculty: skill in design, technique in design and garment construction, ability to conceive content, and strong homework and classwork habits.

Eleventh Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Chemistry · Advanced Algebra · Humanities III · Elective or Learning Center · Fashion Technology III · Marketing and Merchandising III · Open Studio · Garment Construction · Apparel Design · Home Décor · Technical Knowledge and Skills · Costume Construction · Career Readiness · Management and Entrepreneurship

Additional Academic Opportunities
Open Honors · Spanish III · AP Biology

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

ProArts Dual Enrollment
Berklee & Boston Conservatory · Boston Architectural Center (BAC) · Emerson · Mass Art

BPS Dual Enrollment
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology · Bunker Hill · Roxbury Community College (RCC) · Suffolk University

Partnership
Vertex Science Summer Internship

Juries and Assessments
Juniors in the Fashion and Technology Program will participate in a review which will include a critique of an exhibition and a miniature fashion show. The show will include students’ process work, three looks, demonstrated proficiency in garment construction, Adobe Illustration, and figure drawing. Work will be evaluated by outside panelists and BAA faculty: skill in design elements, technique in design and garment construction, ability to conceive content, and homework and classwork habits.

Twelfth Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Environmental Science · Probability and Statistics or AP Statistics or Dual Enrollment Calculus or Other College Math · Humanities IV · Elective or Learning Center · Fashion Technology IV · Marketing and Merchandising IV · Open Studio · Garment Construction · Apparel Design · Home Décor · Technical Knowledge and Skills · Costume Construction · Career Readiness · Management and Entrepreneurship

Additional Academic Opportunities
Open Honors · AP Biology (elective) · AP Statistics · Seal of Biliteracy

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

ProArts Dual Enrollment
Berklee & Boston Conservatory · Boston Architectural Center (BAC) · Emerson · Mass Art

BPS Dual Enrollment
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology · Bunker Hill · Roxbury Community College (RCC) · Suffolk University · Cambridge College

Partnership
Vertex Summer and School-Year Internships

Juries and Assessments
Seniors in the Fashion and Technology program exhibit their own curated fashion show at the end of the school year and participate in a senior review that includes a critique of an exhibition and miniature fashion show. The show will include students’ process work eight to ten looks, demonstrated proficiency in garment construction, Adobe Illustration, and figure drawing. Work will be evaluated by outside panelists and BAA faculty: skill in design elements, technique in design and garment construction, ability to conceive content, and homework and classwork habits.

Design & Visual Arts Communication

The Design & Visual Arts Communication program, recognized as Chapter 74, enables students to delve into design and photography as well as coursework in drawing, art history, and wearable art to develop a deeper understanding of life as a working artist.

Tenth Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Biology · Algebra · Humanities II · World Language or Learning Center · Photo I · Design & Visual Communication II · Studio Art II · Life Drawing II · Open Studio

Offered | Not Required
Studio M7

Additional Academic Opportunities
Open Honors · Dual Enrollment at Roxbury Community College (RCC)

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

Juries and Assessments
All Visual Arts & Design sophomores participate in the Sophomore Review Benchmark, which is a critique with written feedback of presented work. The critique provides written feedback, analyzing strength and areas for growth as well as establishing goals for junior and senior year. Work is reviewed on skill in design elements and principles, technique in digital and two- and three-dimensional materials, ability to conceive content, homework and classwork habits, reflection on strengths, and identification of growth areas.

Eleventh Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Chemistry · Advanced Algebra · Humanities III · Elective or Learning Center · Studio Arts III · Photo II · Design & Visual Communication III · Two Electives: Art History, Wearable Art, Figure Drawing · Open Studio

Offered | Not required
Studio M7

Additional Academic Opportunities
Open Honors · Spanish III · AP Biology

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

ProArts Dual Enrollment
Berklee & Boston Conservatory · Boston Architectural Center (BAC) · Emerson · Mass Art

BPS Dual Enrollment
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology · Bunker Hill · Roxbury Community College (RCC) · Suffolk University

Partnership
Vertex Science Summer Internship

Juries and Assessments
All Visual Arts & Design juniors participate in the Junior Exhibition. In addition to a final critique, students reflect upon and document their individual and collective growth, which will be shared with other students and faculty for feedback.

Twelfth Grade

English (Language and Literary Arts) · Environmental Science · Probability and Statistics or AP Statistics or Dual Enrollment Calculus or Other College Math · Humanities IV · Elective or Learning Center · Studio Art IV · Design IV · Community Art Project · Two Electives: Art History, Wearable Art, Figure Drawing

Offered | Not Required
Studio M7

Additional Academic Opportunities Open Honors · AP Biology (elective) · AP Statistics · Seal of Biliteracy

Additional Arts Electives
Musical Theatre · Entrepreneurship · Art Connections · Photography

ProArts Dual Enrollment
Berklee & Boston Conservatory · Boston Architectural Center (BAC) · Emerson · Mass Art

BPS Dual Enrollment
Ben Franklin Institute of Technology · Bunker Hill · Roxbury Community College (RCC) · Suffolk University · Cambridge College

Partnership
Vertex Summer and School-Year Internships

Juries and Assessments
Seniors ratify their work with Visual Arts faculty as well as prepare for exhibition, curate, promote, and hang their work for an audience consisting of community members and local artists. Students are asked to participate in a review and defense of their artwork, culminating in a written reflection.

More information on our benchmarks and requirements for the Visual Arts Department can be found in our BAA Student Handbook HERE.

A picture of a BAA student from over the shoulder while they look in a mirror and start a self-portrait.
Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.

Paul Klee

Boston Arts Academy Visual Arts Department Preview

Our graduates go on to college, professional careers as visual artists or graphic designers, or other careers that benefit from our multi-disciplinary foundation.

A picture of Patricia in a light purple sweater and a bridge over a river in the background.

Patricia Rizzo

Class of 2011 | Art & Design

Designing the future while preserving the past.

Learn More
Boston Arts Academy Foundation

Talent is evenly distributed in society, but not opportunity. Help us change that reality in Boston.

Make a 100% tax-deductible donation to support Boston students. Less than 3% of funds go to BAAF administrative costs. Contact us at (617) 513-3601.

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