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.
Instagram - @cmhsvisualarts
Celebrating Art, Photography, Media Arts and Fashion Design from the students at Central Memorial High School and PVA.
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.
Visual Arts Gallery
Project examples from the PVA visual arts program
Project examples from the PVA photography course
Visual Arts FAQ
Visual Art Program FAQs
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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)
I was definitely worried about finding my own style but AP art sent me rocketing to a place where my style found me.
PVA art and Art studio AP is there for us to build our future and expand our techniques in art. It creates the foundation for our expression and is the building block of becoming an independent artist.
PVA Visual Arts student
I have learned a vast amount regarding art itself, and about my own capabilities.
Former PVA Visual Arts student
Don't be scared to try new skills!
I’ve developed so much since I’ve been here for three years. Let AP guide you for professions toward art.
– Former PVA Visual Arts student