Fine Arts Academy

October 1, 2014

Bangor HIgh School

 Susan Bryand works with Fine Arts Academy students during a summer enrichment activity

Susan Bryand works with Fine Arts Academy students during a summer enrichment activity

Bangor High School is the largest high school in the region with a student population around 1200. The school prides itself on helping each student to strive for academic excellence.

A few years ago, Bangor High School started a STEM Academy for motivated science and math students. The Fine Arts Academy is based on that model and is designed to enhance the opportunities for students who are interested in the arts. The Visual Arts component of the Academy will start this fall, with Theater and Music components coming in the near future. The Academy has had strong support from school administrators and the school board voted unanimously to approve it.

When we designed the Academy we looked at several models and talked about what would work for Bangor High students and we believe the plan will be very successful here. The BHS art teachers are very excited to have this opportunity as we continue to encourage art students to get the most out of their high school experience and work to provide additional enrichment opportunities whenever possible.

The main elements of the Fine Arts Academy (Visual Arts strand) plan include:

  1. A course for freshmen called The Creative Process. This is the foundation course and expands the Art I curriculum in numerous ways.
  2. Students in The Creative Process will earn honors credit by completing studio and writing assignments pertinent to the course.
  3. A quarterly seminar based on a theme or topic and offered to all BHS advanced art students will extend learning about artists, techniques, career exploration, community art connections, etc.
  4. Summer enrichment options for students include summer assignments, independent work, mentoring/internship opportunities, and group activities.
  5. Honors credit option for all advanced art classes for Academy students – more depth and breadth.
  6. Three distinct pathways to earning the Academy endorsement on student graduation certificates – Drawing/Painting, Digital/Commercial Art, and 3-D Design options. Each pathway culminates in an AP Art course.
  7. A Capstone exhibit during the spring of each student’s senior year – will include a portfolio, an artist statement, documentation of the artist’s process, and a formal presentation of student accomplishment.
  8. Additional options for community art connections will be encouraged.
  9. Fine Arts Academy students take all the regular classes offered at BHS and will take at least 6 art credits during their 4 years.
  10. This program will help prepare students for a wide range of post secondary options.

Twenty students have accepted the challenge and have signed up to take The Creative Process and to be a part of the BHS Fine Arts Academy. Eight sophomores have also opted to be part of the program. We are off to a great start and are looking forward to seeing great results from this innovative program.

This post was contributed by art teacher, Kal Elmore, Bangor High School. For further information please contact Kal at kelmore@bangorschools.net or colleagues Susan Bryand at sbryand@bangorschools.net, or Eric Hutchins at ehutchins@bangorschools.net.

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