Our visual arts program is a wonderful mix of digital art, photography—both black & white and digital—painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and even an Innovative Paper Craft class.

You will find many of the pieces from our visual arts classes collected and shown throughout the year in the Main Street Gallery, a student- and faculty-operated space that shows off the wonderful talent in our community.

Visual Art Offerings at Northwest Academy

List of 13 items.

  • Advanced Studio Art

    Students explore modern and contemporary conceptual frameworks through a variety of means of visual expression typical of studio arts including drawing and painting, assemblage and sculpture, varieties of printmaking, and installation. 
  • Exploratory Visual Art

    Students in the Exploratory Visual Arts program will investigate a wide range of two- and three-dimensional techniques. Emphasis is placed on observational skills in 2-D work and painting. Form is explored in 3-D work. In printmaking, students will explore ways that the medium influences or changes our designs. In all things, students will develop focus and craftsmanship.
  • Preparatory Visual Art

    In our Preparatory Visual Art course, students explore 2D media. Students learn to create visually compelling images in this hands-on class. Abstract thinking and creative problem-solving skills will be honed through a variety of art-making techniques. There will also be opportunities to discover the possible connections between social activism and the visual arts.
  • Fundamental Visual Art

  • Exploratory Media Arts

    In Exploratory Media Arts, students dive into digital technology as it is applied to photography, Flash animations, and web design. Students learn basic Photoshop skills for image processing and image creation. A variety of software programs are used as students move from the still image to animations. We will learn basic HTML, CSS for creating web pages, which we will use for showing the work created in class.
  • Black & White Photography

    In Black & White Photography, students learn how to use black & white darkroom techniques to create fine art prints. Students go beyond the traditional photographic process to incorporate alternative processes and hand-built or manipulated cameras into our toolbox. Themes and methods from contemporary and historical photography will be explored through slide lectures and photographer studies. 
  • Digital Art

    Digital Art students explore various software tools in the Adobe Creative Suite. Students start off using Photoshop for image creation and manipulation. Next, the class works on developing their graphic design skills, where they design posters for the theatre department. Later in the year, students explore the moving image, creating animations and motion graphics. The class will end the year with web design, where students learn basic HTML5 and CSS3.
  • Digital Photography

    Students explore digital photography as a tool for personal expression. The class will look at the basic principles of photography and how digital technology can give artists more options for making and sharing their work. 
  • Drawing

    Drawing is the foundation for students pursuing any art form. Students will learn fundamental drawing skills, beginning with lessons designed to develop the student's ability to draw from sight. As students progress, they will be introduced to other concepts related to design and composition, such as perception of value and the use of value in compositions, understanding and using color, and linear perspective. 
  • Filmmaking

    Filmmaking with PAM CUT // Portland Art Museum’s Center for an Untold Tomorrow
    Filmmaking is taught through a partnership between Northwest Academy and PAM CUT. This hands-on class teaches the artistic and professional protocols of live-action film production. Students will work together to script, cast, production manage, shoot, and edit multiple short films from concept to completion. The class also covers basic ideas in media literacy, from concept development to the importance of identifying one's audience, to forming an effective message to reach it.

  • Innovative Paper Craft

    This class will push the limits of what can be created using the traditional but versatile medium of paper. Students will explore the elements of pop-up books, paper making, paper weaving, quilling, paper sculpture, and more, with an opportunity for independent projects based on students' interests.
  • Intermediate Visual Art Studio

    This is a project-based course designed to give students a working knowledge of a wide range of materials and techniques while offering new opportunities for creative exploration and self-expression. Students will complete Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture projects using some familiar and some unfamiliar media. Emphasis is placed on developing effective studio practices and work habits and being experimental. Examples of possible projects include: stained glass, 3D mosaics, hand-built ceramics, Fresco, screen printing, working with oil and chalk pastels, and more. As always, and weather permitting, we'll do a bit of urban sketching here and there.
  • Printmaking and Painting

    This class offers students an introduction to basic painting and printmaking techniques. Painting techniques cover both historical and contemporary approaches/ideas about painting. The class provides various entry points for curious students to begin their personal explorations of the medium. Likewise, printmaking gives students a working knowledge of common techniques including relief, intaglio, monotype, and screen/stencil printing.