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High School Visual Arts

The process of creating is a wonderful thing to witness. It is not easily defined, neat and tidy, or predictable. But it is engaging, surprising, and alive.

In the art department at Holland Christian, it is our hope that as we create, we can embrace mystery, find comfort–or at least become familiar with ambiguity, re-encounter wonder, re-encounter our imaginations, and in turn re-encounter the wonder of God’s world.

Here in the land of art at Holland Christian we participate together in the ever changing process of making, that decision filled process of searching, discovering, recognizing, beginning, starting over, beginning again, pausing, noticing…it’s what we all do over and over and over again as artists. We choose pick up a pencil, a crayon, a piece of clay, a stone; we see one line beside another line and decide to connect them; we recognize patterns, associate objects, and realize that our images, marks, lines, and imaginations can pour life into clay, paper, wire, walls…

Visual & Media Arts Class Electives

Visual & Studio Arts

General Art

General Art students thoughtfully experience a wide range of projects with a variety of media. Drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics are among the media students work with, giving students a taste of artistic fields explored further in future HC art courses.


Students in Drawing are encouraged to slow down, look closely, and realize that there are many ways to make a drawn mark come alive on a page. Media used include pencil, colored pencil, india ink, charcoal, collage, chalk, oil pastel, etc. Students create drawings from observation, photographs, and imaginations. Subjects vary from still life to portrait to abstraction on our quest to discover works with compositional inventiveness, strong line quality, and surface richness.


Students in this course experience fibers as a medium for creative expression and design. They create 3-D fiber sculptures, fabric collages, learn various hand stitches, experience weaving, try out photo transfer processes, and look at the work of contemporary fibers artists. We witness the wonderful quality that fibers hold to connect as we stitch, weave, wrap, and press fabrics, threads, paper, pulp…


In Painting students explore the fundamentals of color, color mixing, form, space, texture, light, and composition, as they look for inventive ways to give their individual ideas and expressions visual form. Students work primarily in acrylic as we explore a variety of painters, basic painting techniques, styles, and movements.

Sculpture & Ceramics

This class emphasizes working hands-on with a variety of sculptural materials,  including clay, wood, paper, plaster, wire, and found objects. Projects challenge students to visually “solve” various artistic problems with 3-D “solutions” as they learn to put things together, think about, look at, and respond to artwork “in the round.” How can you make a flat material become dimensional? How might you multiple objects to create order out of chaos? Why is negative space important in 3-D work? Students respond visually to such questions while searching for inventive sculptural forms.

Advanced 2-D: Explorations in Drawing & Painting

In Advanced 2-D, students explore a variety of studio problems and techniques designed to expand their understanding of the expressive potential of drawing and painting. Sketching from life, the landscape, and one another, using materials in both traditional and non-traditional ways, projects evolve from direct daily assignments designed to stretch style and process toward the culmination of a series of self-directed works. Students also look at drawings and paintings, visit a gallery, and discuss their work, continually retaining an awareness of creating within community.

College Drawing

College Drawing is a yearlong advanced drawing class accredited through Calvin University. Students explore and advance fundamental drawing skills in observational drawing, look into and experience contemporary drawing practices, develop an active sketchbook habit, and create a body of work. Students may choose to dual enroll at Calvin College to receive Calvin University credit for ARTS 250.

Advanced Placement Art

AP Art is a yearlong course designed for students who are ready to intensely create with other serious student artists, and to produce a portfolio of approximately 15-20 quality works of art exploring and expanding personal artistic interests and strengths. Students compile an organized portfolio package including digital photographs and artist statements by the end of the course. Students also complete several pieces of artwork and assignments over the summer.

Media Arts

Digital Adobe Design

This is an introductory course to the Adobe suite of products, including Adobe Photoshop (image manipulation, bitmap graphics), Adobe Illustrator (logo creation, vector graphics), Adobe InDesign (layout design), and Adobe Flash (animation).  Students create a web portfolio of their projects and learn industry techniques to professionalize their products.

Multimedia Creations

Students in Multimedia Creations explore web design, advanced video techniques, audio creation/ manipulation, game & app design, animation, and 3D animation. Products include a sampling from Google Sites, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, GarageBand, Audacity, AutoDesk Maya, Source Filmmaker, Minecraft API, ZBrush, Mudbox, Unreal Engine, and Unity.  Students create a web portfolio of their projects.

Film Production I

Taught in a workshop model, this class focuses on the fundamentals of storytelling, lighting, shooting, and sound, and each film focuses on a different film technique or skill. We watch film clips for analysis of story structure, camera angles, editing sequences, and other film-making techniques.

Film Production II

Film II students take the class alongside Film I students but are pushed to develop filmmaking skills further. Students are encouraged to pitch their own film ideas and see them to completion. Goals of this class are for students to polish their film-making skills, develop a greater story-sense, and begin to build a portfolio of their work.

Graphic Design

Graphic Design pushes the connection between content and creativity, promoting stronger visual communication skills throughout the class term. Students learn how to parse, present and create visually coded information through a variety of 2d media including typography, page layout, web design and other 2d media. Students use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign and exhibit how the two work together to create stronger layouts for a variety of media.


Students engage with the camera and artistic principles while learning how the artistic practice of studied photographers grows from their beliefs in how photography works and their overall beliefs concerning their world. Students are encouraged to engage and grapple positively and critically with the photographers studied in the “how’s” and “why’s” of their photographic practice.


Students create the HCHS yearbook, while learning about the components of an artistic and memorable yearbook: page layout and design, photography and Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and journalistic writing.

Have Questions?

We look forward to meeting you and your family and introducing you to the fresh, creative, personalized education at Holland Christian! We are here to help! Get in touch using the contact form linked below or call us at 616.820.2805.

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