High School Visual Arts | Somerset College
Please click here for the COVID-19: South African Government resource and news portal.

Visual Art

The Visual Art Department at Somerset College is a place where students are encouraged to be highly innovative and current in their artistic expressions. The incredible results of their hard work have been confirmed, not least by a consistently high standard average in Matric, of which we are very proud, but also by the fact that many of our past students successfully gain acceptance into reputable tertiary Art and Design establishments and follow successful creative careers thereafter.

There are various tertiary options where Visual Art is an asset. These include:

1. Fine Art – Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Print-making, Multi-media, Mixed media, Ceramics, Graphic, Industrial, Interior Design, Fashion, Set Design, Jewellery, Textile etc.

2. Architecture

3. Film-making

Our Art Department is unique in that we offer so many discipline options. The department is staffed by two highly qualified teachers, each of whom steer the various disciplines, while also working in collaboration. Some of the disciplines include: drawing, painting, collage, mixed and multimedia, printmaking, sculpture and installation.

In Grade 8 and Grade 9 the students are introduced to the basics of art-making through various observational and creative projects, with the intention of creating a solid foundation for further development of their skills when they make their final subject choice in Grade 10. We believe in the importance of a classical drawing background, especially in Grade 10, which then allows the individual student artist more room to explore artistic conceptualisation through their chosen discipline in Grades 11 and 12. We have also continued with the popular tradition of building sand sculptures on Bikini Beach as a Grade 10 practical task. Each year seems to improve on the one before, and the students have a wonderful time in the outdoors, expressing their creativity through nature.

It is very interesting to observe the variety of artistic methods and approaches that make up our showcase exhibition – the Matric Art Exhibition. Individuality rules and many of our artists are unafraid to explore powerful subject matter with the intention of drawing attention to international events or subjects. The Visual Art Department has a good record of participation and achievement in various reputable external Art Competitions where many have achieved high placing or have won their sections. There is also plenty of opportunity for artistic exposure in the College environment where the students Art can be seen in almost every location.

The Visual Arts also has a strong Visual Literacy component, where students engage with historical and contemporary art-making practices and develop critical skills in analysis and Art Historical essay writing. This knowledge often is reflected in their own art-making and recorded in their visual diaries, which gives more value to the concepts underpinning their chosen approaches.