Visual art is essential in a liberal arts education. It teaches students visual literacy-the ability to observe, read, and decode images-and serves as a vehicle for creativity and self-expression. Beyond the media traditionally defined as arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, etc.), art in various forms surrounds us, from advertising and architecture to printed media, television, and film. Art can serve as a bridge across times and cultures, and as a powerful conveyor of ideas. PCD’s visual arts classes teach students the rich history of visual representation and the craft of art through rigorous study, while fostering creativity and craftsmanship through training and practice in the methods of producing art. Visual literacy can be compared to literacy in English: to be literate one must be able to comprehend, understand, and critically assess texts (whether visual or literal) and to convey one’s thoughts using a well-developed technique and style. The Visual Arts program at PCD will guide the student toward this goal.
Through the study and studio production of art, students develop the ability to observe visual language and critically assess its meaning and implications, and to begin using visual language to express their own ideas.