Visual Art Program Description
Central’s PVA Art program expects students to act and think like an artist. In this program, you will be asked to develop your artistic skills through a series of courses that will challenge and encourage your inner Picasso. Art is learned through trial and error, mastery of technique, understanding fundamental principles and being able to incorporate them into meaningful and technically sound 2-D or 3-D pieces of art.
Students with a wide range of backgrounds enter our program to learn and practice the foundations that will lead them towards personal style and innovation by the end of Grade 12. This program is an intensive study in visual art and includes a wide range of media exploration, art history, art appreciation, and professional development in the arts. Students will explore drawing techniques and styles, colour exploration, painting, mixed media, sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry. Having an art studio class every day of the school year helps to maintain your skill level and challenge your creative spirit. Students in PVA Art may also benefit from the Advanced Placement Studio Art program as well. This is a college-level program offered while still in high school. Please visit our Art Gallery to see some of the work created in our studios. Central also offers a general arts program for students that want to study art, but just not at the PVA level.
Please see Applying to PVA for audition/interview requirements.
Advanced Placement Studio Art
Advanced Placement (AP) is a College level program that offers students post-secondary course work while still in high school. It is offered across the United States and Canada, and most post-secondary institutions grant university or college credits for AP course work.
Advanced Placement Studio Art is when students learn and produce artwork that is considered to be College Level. Students accepted into Central Memorial’s PVA program are given the opportunity to pursue Advanced Placement Studio Art during their Art 30 and Art 35 Classes.
- Students work towards the creation of a portfolio that is sent to the AP College Board in New York for judging
- students who receive a qualifying grade for their AP portfolio may use that result as college credit
- once you are enrolled at a post-secondary institution, you may use these credits towards your degree
- students that agree to take on the challenge of AP will explore and develop their artistic skills beyond the high school level.
When do I decide if AP is right for me?
There is no pressure on students to commit to the AP Criteria until they are in Art 30 (Grade 12). A series of work is the most challenging and difficult part of AP Program, but students work closely with their teacher and have plenty of guidance. Students must complete a series of 12 images that relate together by not only a related concept, but by technical style and approach. Please see our Gallery and look for the images labeled AP for examples of student work.
For more information about the College Board or AP, please click here.
Instagram – @cmhsvisualarts
Celebrating Art, Photography,
Media Arts and Fashion Design
from the students at
Central Memorial High School and PVA.
Leadership in the Arts 35 / Entrepreneurial Artist
All PVA 30-level students are enrolled in one Leadership in the Arts 35 (LITA). These programs of study allow PVA students to explore how they see themselves as artists and become more aware of the process involved in preparing for the marketing and business aspect of being a professional in the arts community.
Students will experience a variety of teacher-led assignments/activities as well as a number of student-directed online projects. Through LITA experiences, students will learn not only how to act as professional artists, but how to develop a desire to be lifelong participants in the fabric of our community. Students will be able to tailor their experience in LITA to their interests, from planning events, participating in competitions, or making promotional videos and social media content, to sitting on boards and participating in committees and writing grants.
To audition for PVA Visual Arts, students are required to have previously submitted all components of the PVA application process. Please see How to Apply for further information.
This year due to Covid 19 restrictions, PVA Visual Arts interviews will be held virtually. Please prepare a digital slideshow that showcases your work so that it meets the requirements listed below. Please post your digital slideshow here.
The audition process consists of a 15-minute interview involving PVA applicants and our teachers. During this time, we will look at your portfolio and base some of the interview questions around your artwork. This process will also give you an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about our program. That way, you’ll be able to determine if we are a good fit for you as well!
Be prepared to share 10-15 pieces of your artwork to the interview that demonstrate your skills, experience, and range of ability in art.
- Include art you created in junior high art class, at home, at camps, or other work you created with other programs.
- Include a wide range of work that demonstrates variety in your ability (pencil, pastel, paint, sculptures, images of people, landscapes, still-lifes, etc.).
- Sketchbooks are always a welcome addition to a portfolio.
- If possible, choose to share your most current work.
PVA auditions are friendly and supportive. This may be your first audition ever and we want everyone to have a positive and fun experience.
Visual Arts FAQ
Q: Do I need art training to apply to Central’s PVA Art program?
No. Previous training is not required to apply to our visual arts program, but a portfolio that demonstrates your skills and abilities is. Please see our “how to apply” section for details and examples of what we look for in a portfolio.
Q: Do I have to have a portfolio when I apply?
Yes. A portfolio is a collection of your work that will represent you and your artistic background. It will give us insight into your skill level, your potential, your creativity, and your past experiences. Please refer to the “how to apply – art” page for more information regarding portfolio requirements.
Q: What is Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art?
Advanced Placement courses are considered College Level courses and require students to meet or exceed standards set by the College Board. For Studio Art, this means that students work towards the creation of a college-level portfolio that gets sent away to New York for judging at the end of their grade 12 year. If an acceptable standard is reached, AP Art students will be granted Post-Secondary Credits for their work in grade 12. (For example, Alberta College of Art and Design may choose to credit you for AP and allow you to “skip” an introductory drawing course.) Not all Colleges and Universities will grant you course credit for AP, as their specific degree requirements vary. Please check with your university or college for more information.
Q: When do I take AP Art?
Advanced Placement requirements overlap the regular and advanced techniques art program. AP Studio Art is offered at the same time as PVA Art 30 and PVA Art 35. It demands dedication and more studio time than the regular program, and students wishing to complete this College Level course will work with their teacher(s) individually to ensure they can meet and or exceed requirements.
Q: When do PVA Art students take Leadership in the Arts 35 or Entrepreneurial Artist?
All PVA students are required to complete either Leadership in the Arts 35 or Entrepreneurial Artist (Junior Achievement). These self-directed courses run outside the regular school day. Students will experience a combination of teacher-directed assignments/activities combined with student-directed and/or on-line projects. Sessions for these courses usually occur at lunch or after school for visual art students and will involve the creation of a final grade 12 portfolio. Students will learn about careers in visual art, attend workshops, meet local artists and participate in community art activities. For PVA Art students, this course begins in grade 10 and finishes at the end of grade 12 with a final exit interview and portfolio celebration.
Q: If I specialize in sculpture, do I still have to paint or draw?
Students in the PVA Art program are required to complete the foundation courses of Art 10, 20, and 30. The curriculum in these courses does expect students to work within a broad range of materials and media. During Art 15, 25, and 35, students will specialize into their area of preference, either painting, drawing, or, sculpture. AP Art will also require you to specialize into either 2-D or 3-D streams.
Please feel free to contact us with any further questions.
Fashion Illustration and
Visual Art Techniques Instructor
Kerry Warner graduated from the University of Calgary’s Master of Education program in June of 2007 and joined Central Memorial Fine Art Department the following September.
In 2005 Ms. Warner completed her Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan with a major in Painting and an extensive knowledge in printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. Since graduation, Ms Warner has shown with the Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia where she has gained recognition with collectors in Canada, the United States, and Asia. Ms Warner’s work has been published in Essential Vancouver magazine, 2006/07 and Passion Pages, 2009.
Ms Warner’s current work is described as formalist abstract. She often works on series’ of up to twelve paintings at a time and can take over 6 months to complete a series. Ms Warner’s work is a juxtaposition between spontaneous washes and controlled methodical impasto areas creating a history within each piece. It is a deconstruction of painting as a language, becoming enhanced each time she adds a new colour or mark to the canvas.
Visual Arts Instructor
Kelly Isaak graduated from the University of Calgary’s Masters of Education program in 2008. She began teaching with the Calgary Board of Education the following Fall and joined the Central Memorial Fine Arts Department in 2010.
In 1999 Ms. Isaak graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design with a major in Drawing. She has also studied Painting, Printmaking, Textiles, and Ceramics. She spent six years living in Tokyo, Japan. There she studied photography and continues to work in both film and digital imagery.
Ms. Isaak is very interested in working with the human figure. She draws the body from life with various life-drawing groups around Calgary and is currently working on a drawing series dealing with portraiture and the idea of play.
Visual Arts Gallery
Project examples from the PVA visual arts program
Project examples from the PVA photography course
PVA Visual Arts Alumni
Several graduates of the PVA Visual Arts Program have gone on to post-secondary programs or are currently pursuing professional careers. Alumni include:
Alberta College of Art and Design
- Stephanie S.
- Renåe J.
- Felicity H.
- Jace L.
- David H.
- Olivia P.
Carleton University, Ottawa
- Adam P. (Architecture)
- Simon M. (Architecture)
Emily Carr University of Art and Design – Vancouver
- Ellena L.
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax
- Jessie L
Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto
- Rhyden B.
Ryerson University – Toronto
- Jeanine B. (Fashion Communication)
University of British Columbia Okanagan
- Naomi O. (Visual Arts)
University of Calgary
- Melissa D. (Visual Arts)
Vancouver Island University – Nanaimo
- Stephanie W. (Interior Design)