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Visual Arts

Visual Arts is a focus for all of ND Academy. Students take Art once a week from Lower School finishing at fifth grade. Beginning in sixth grade students are able to choose various visual art electives to fill their schedule such as Photography, Drawing and Painting, or Studio Art.

Big ideas like identity, risk-taking, experimentation, personal and cultural expression, story-telling, time, and spirituality are explored across a variety of mediums and contextual art movements. Students utilize a visual journal to question, reflect, and expand their own ideas about these concepts and themes. Depth within thematic subjects is encouraged. All grade levels are exposed to a variety of visual media and rigorous vertical planning is performed so that from year to year, students artistically grow in skill level and personal voice.

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
– Aristotle

The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of knowing that engage us in effective, imaginative and productive activities. Learning through the arts helps us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and individuality. A focus on the individual enhances our self-confidence, resilience and adaptability. It encourages our sense of belonging and community through the recognition of identities. During adolescence, the arts provide an opportunity for age-appropriate and holistic development of the social, emotional, intellectual and personal intelligences of the student.

In International Baccalaureate (IB) arts, students have opportunities to function as artists, as well as learners of the arts. Artists have to be curious. By developing curiosity about themselves, others and the world, students become effective learners, inquirers and creative problem-solvers. Students develop through creating, performing and presenting arts in ways that engage and convey feelings, experiences and ideas. It is through this practice that students acquire new skills and master those skills developed in prior learning.

Development in the arts is a dynamic process, and not necessarily linear. The student moves freely through a creative process towards a deeper understanding of the arts. IB arts values the process of creating artwork and the point of realization; the two elements combined tell us what students have experienced, learned and attempted to convey. In IB arts, the four objectives have equal importance and value. Although the objectives can be addressed separately to scaffold learning, when used collectively they enrich teaching and learning of the arts.

Thinking creatively fits naturally in IB arts, but can easily become a focus in other subject groups too. This objective is essential in modern education to address the need for student-centered learning and lifelong learning, looking towards a modern context of flexible employment and a higher demand for innovation and change in the workplace. As both an objective in the arts and an approaches to learning (ATL) skill across the program, heightened awareness of thinking creatively encourages students to develop metacognitive skills and become self-regulated learners.

Arts in the IB stimulate young imaginations, challenge perceptions and develop creative and analytical skills. Involvement in the arts encourages students to understand the arts in context and the cultural histories of artworks, thus supporting the development of an inquiring and empathetic world view. Arts challenge and enrich personal identity and build awareness of the aesthetic in a real-world context. (p.4, Visual Arts Guide)


  • Empty Bowls Service Learning Project
  • Capitol Art Exhibit (Statewide show at the Capitol sponsored by the Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA)
  • ND Academy's Evening of the Arts
  • DP Visual Arts Solo Exhibitions
  • Scholastic Arts Award Competition
  • Metro-Atlanta High School Art Exhibition
  • Dogwood Festival AHSAE
  • Capitol Art Exhibit
  • Congressional Art Competition
  • Evening of the Arts



Visual Arts Curriculum

Visual Arts Facilities