Visual Arts

Updated January 2021

Welcome to Burnaby North Visual Arts. Our Department offers comprehensive knowledge and practice in the visual arts. At the core of our programs is a strong studio curriculum with a focus on a well-rounded visual art experience in critical theory supporting the ideas and technical processes of producing a variety of art forms. We foster a nurturing culture in which quality of thought merges with technique, creativity and collaboration. Our senior students are prepared with the necessary skills and mindset to pursue post- secondary visual arts studies, enter related fields, or pursue a contemporary professional practice. We are committed to a student-centered teaching environment and prepare students to be creative and critical thinkers.
Our Disciplines include Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Media, Graphic Production & Yearbook, Photography, Film & Television, and Art History.
We offer Advanced Placement courses in Studio 2D, 3D, Drawing, Photography and Art History. The diverse needs of visual art students are met in a dynamic environment with outstanding faculty, facilities, and exhibition spaces.  In addition, we offer, field trips, a visiting artists program, and opportunities for working within the community.
To learn more about courses offered please see the links below.

Grade 8 Courses

Visual Art 8

Art 8 is a great way to explore your artistic ability.  Diverse and dynamic, the threads of exploration encompass different approaches to art; making art, beginning an art vocabulary, learning from past and contemporary artists and ideas with an opportunity to exhibit art works throughout the school. The young art enthusiast is encouraged to explore their individual personal interests, creative skill-building and technical foundations in the area of drawing, painting, print making, ceramics, sculpture, and other 2D and 3D mediums.

Visual Art 8 Enriched

Art 8 Enriched provides greater in-depth opportunities for students to experience and explore a variety of visual art techniques and processes. Areas of exploration include drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture with an emphasis on image development and the application of Elements & Principles of design. A gallery fieldtrip and art history component are usually included in this course to expose students to a variety of art works and enhance learning. Students will investigate areas such as value, perspective, colour theory, and 3D rendering. Students are encouraged to develop personal imagery and consider the process of creating, responding and communicating through art.

Grade 9 Courses

Social Studies 9 Art Enriched

This course will cover the Social Studies 9 Curricular Competencies and Content, while enriching this material through the additional use of visual arts resources. Students will have the opportunity to use the visual arts and art history as a tool to view and analyze course material and meet core critical challenges. If you enjoy art and project work, this is the course for you.

Visual Art 9

Art 9 is a fun and exciting creative adventure. Students work with a variety of materials and explore drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media and 3D sculpture. This is a course for students who enjoy variety. Sketchbook work, assignments, projects and instruction are designed to enhance image development and communication of ideas through visual art.

Visual Arts2D 9 (Drawing and Painting)

Students can expect to gain a strong foundation in drawing and painting in this course. Composition, the visual elements and principles of design, and the basic techniques and concepts of both drawing and painting will be covered. The end goals are to increase artistic self-confidence and develop understanding of the basics of drawing /painting and to produce successful explorative works. Students will investigate mark making, abstraction and realism. Learn to develop your skills of seeing and perception while using a variety of materials (acrylic, water colour, oil pastel, chalk, graphite, ink, pencil crayon).

Visual Arts 3D 9 (Ceramics and Sculpture)

If you are interested in, and enjoy making things three dimensionally, this course is for you. Bring your imagination and creativity and we will explore the world of 3D Art.  Students will learn to manipulate space using materials and processes such as, paper-mache, cardboard construction, wire sculpture, fabric, found objects and clay works while learning the elements and principles of 3D design.

Media Arts 9

Media 9 is an introduction to digital video production. Students will be able to produce short items demonstrating their skills in camera operation, digital editing, and sound recording and editing.  They will be introduced to the principles of animation and photography as well.  Through their productions and viewing of other works, students will develop skills in media literacy and be able to critically analyze a variety of media.


Grade 10 Courses

Social Studies 10 Art Enriched

This course will cover the Social Studies 10 Curricular Competencies and content, while enriching this material through additional use of visual arts resources. Students will have the opportunity to incorporate the visual arts and art history to view and analyze course material and meet core critical challenges. If you enjoy art and project work this is the course for you. Demonstration of learning takes form in individual and group projects.

Art Studio 10

Art 10 continues the exploration and skill development of a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional mediums and the techniques related to these materials. Painting, ceramics, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, and textiles are covered. Students are encouraged to increase artistic self-confidence, increase one’s understanding of design and communicate ideas through visual imagery.

Studio Arts 3D 10 (Ceramics and Sculpture)

For the 3D thinker who loves to manipulate materials.  Students in this course will continue to address skill development and the use of a variety of materials while exploring the impact of context, manipulation of design elements and principles as related to ceramics and sculpture.

Studio Arts 2D 10 (Drawing and Painting)

This course includes drawing and painting studio projects in a wide variety of media, techniques and art forms. Students will further develop basic understanding and knowledge of art forms and time periods through artistic experiences. A continued understanding of composition and the utilization of design elements and principles are pursued. Learn to see as an Artist. Explore the joys of drawing and painting through media such as acrylic, water colour, pen and ink, charcoal, graphite, oil and chalk pastel. This course builds drawing, painting and design skills.

Media Arts 10

Media 10 is an introduction to digital video production. Students will be able to produce short items demonstrating their skills in camera operation, digital editing, and sound recording and editing.  They will be introduced to the principles of animation and photography as well. Students will be introduced to professional editing software including Adobe Premier Pro, Audition, and After Effects. Through their productions and viewing of other works, students will develop skills in media literacy and be able to critically analyze a variety of media.

Media Arts 10 (Enriched)

Media 10 enriched builds on the skills acquired in Media 9. Students learn how to write, shoot and edit high quality video productions.  Students will elaborate the production roles on their teams, and they will bring their productions through pre-production, production, and post –production. Students will learn script writing, directing actors, Sound mixing, and lighting. They will also deep dive into Adobe production tools including Premier Pro, Audition and After Effects.

Photography 10

Photography offers unique ways of exploring our identity and sense of belonging. This course introduces students to film and digital photography. Students will learn parts and functions of cameras, darkroom, and alternative photographic processes, techniques and image making technologies, including photo/film chemistry and behaviours of light. Participants will explore this unique art form to capture images for artistic expression.

Grade 11 Courses

Art Studio 11

Explore self-expression in this course.  Students will be engaged in creating with, and responding to, a wide range of 2D and 3D art processes selected from drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, fabric and fiber, printmaking and graphic design. Within each area they will explore image development and design strategies, technical skill development, and context(s). Art history, art criticism and the exploration of a range of art careers is integral to the course.

Graphic Production 11 (Formerly Desk Top Production)

*This course is an applied skills credit

Graphic Production 11 is an introduction to the software and design principles used in digital photography, digital design and digital publishing. The students will concentrate on developing skills in the use of Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. They will learn how to create documents for the publishing industry. Students will become familiar with the Apple computer, and network. They will apply their skills through practical applications such as, newsletters, brochures, and book design. It is highly recommended that students who wish to work on the Burnaby North yearbook take Graphic Production 11 to prepare for Media Design 12 -Yearbook (Formerly Photojournalism) *.

Film and Television 11

Students work bringing a variety of productions through pre-production, production and post-production and they are also introduced to Broadcasting, they learn about three camera remote and studio TV production using the Broadcast Pics remote multi-camera streaming system as well as using the in-class studio. Media 11 students are responsible for covering school events, including the school leaving ceremony in June. Students will work toward mastery of Adobe production software including Premier Pro and After Effects. Media Arts 11 students are encouraged to develop individual production portfolios for further study and potential post-secondary applications to Film and Broadcast programs.

Media Arts 11

Media Arts 11 is an introduction to advanced digital filmmaking.  Students learn how to write and work with scripts, direct actors, and begin to take specialized roles.  Students are introduced to and explore film genre in their productions and to discuss film history. Students will learn the basics of lighting as well as working with advanced film production software.

Photography 11

Photography 11 is an exciting and challenging art course. This course will focus on an introduction to traditional black and white photography. Students learn to take black and white pictures using a 35mm SLR camera. Students learn to develop film and print from negatives. A variety of darkroom techniques and methods are also explored. In addition, digital photography will be a component. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of basic design elements (line, shape, contrast, texture…) and personal imagery through photography.

Studio Arts 3D 11 (Ceramics and Sculpture)

This course builds skills, knowledge base and context relating to ceramics and sculpture.  Create 3D construction projects in a variety of materials including clay, wood, plaster, paper and found objects. If you enjoy expressing ideas and building/constructing in 3D, this is the course for you.

Studio Arts 2D 11 (Drawing and Painting)

Composition and the way the art principals are used to organize the art elements of color, line, shape, form, space and texture is explored. Discover a broad range of materials/media used for drawing, mark making and painting such as, charcoal, pastel, oil stick, ink, pencil, colour crayon, watercolor, oil, tempera, and acrylic. Resources used in the creation and study of visual art, will vary depending on student needs and interest. Use your observation skills and imagination to create unique and inspiring art works. A variety of painting styles from realist to abstract and master artists will be introduced.

Studio Arts 2D 12 (Drawing and Painting) Art 12 Honours/Pre-AP

Portfolio.  May also be taken concurrently with AP Studio Art at the grade 12 level.

Grade 12 Courses

Studio Art 12

Students work at an advanced level with a range of 2D and 3D art processes, building upon content from visual art at the grade 11 level. Students increase their level of sophistication, complexity and independence as they further develop technical competence in the selection and use of a variety of materials and processes, the manipulation of the elements of design, and the development of personal imagery. Visual literacy will be enhanced through art criticism and the study of the relationships between context(s) and the visual arts. Students will document and evaluate their creative process and product and continue to explore a range of visual art careers.

Film and Television 12

This course is designed for students who are serious about pursuing post-secondary opportunities or a career in filmmaking. Students will complete the Kodak student film series and will be introduced to 16mm and HDV cameras and production flow.  The goal of the program is for students to produce a digital portfolio of their work to present to post-secondary school programs.  Students are encouraged to research post-secondary courses and then to work towards acceptance.

Media Arts 12

Media 12 students begin the study of film history by watching early films and then shooting their own black and white silent super8 films. These projects lead to the introduction of experimental filmmaking and advanced sound editing. Students continue to develop their skills with Adobe Premier and After Effects software and learn new applications like Colour Grading in Devinci and Avid Pro Tools for sound. Students are encouraged to attend film festivals and enter film contests and are introduced to the post-secondary opportunities for media education.

Photography 12

Photography 12 is an extension of photo 11. Students are provided the opportunity to use digital means to develop and master their skills. The emphasis will be to create multiple series of photographs and/or a body of work which reflects a personal or individual style or exploration of a theme. Students will have opportunities to enhance photographs using phone cameras and digital dslr cameras.

* Students also can create an AP Photo Portfolio. (see Ms Lehtonen for more information.

Media Design 12 (Formerly Photojournalism 12)

Students who apply (Yearbook Application Form) and are accepted into Media Design 12 are responsible for preparing the school’s yearbook. Most students accepted have taken Graphic Production 11 (formerly Desktop Publishing 11), but it is not a requirement. Students are chosen on the basis that they have demonstrated leadership and maturity and are highly involved in the school community through sports, clubs and committees. Students will work as a team to organize and produce the school’s yearbook using Adobe Creative suite, digital SLR cameras and the Apple computer lab. The book has an award-winning history, receiving awards from both the American Scholastic Yearbook Review and the Canadian Yearbook Review each year since 2000.

Graphic Production 12

This course is designed to prepare students for producing the yearbook. Design, layout and production opportunities for colour output for image development in pre- and post-production will be covered using Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator. Elements and principles of design as communication tools, intellectual property use and its ethical, moral, and legal considerations, including cultural appropriation will be introduced. Students will learn work flow management through production processes, concept development to meet industry standard technologies. Interpersonal skills, including ways to interact with clients financial planning, and economic impacts of production will be key factors.

Advanced Placement Art History 12

This course provides an introductory, general survey of art history. Although this course is taught at a first-year college level, no prior art history experience is required. Students will examine major artistic works from a variety of different times and cultures. It is an expectation but not a requirement of the course that each student will write the Advanced Placement exam in May.  This course is open to both the grade 11 and 12 student. *This course is recommended for students enrolling in AP studio art courses.

Advanced Placement Studio Art 12

For the committed art students who wishes to submit an AP portfolio in one of 2D Design, 3D Design, or Drawing. An intense course and students require a recommendation from a visual art teacher.  See below for specific portfolio descriptions.

AP 2-D Art & Design Portfolio

This portfolio is intended to address a very broad interpretation of two-dimensional design issues.  Work for this portfolio involves purposeful decision-making about elements and principles of art in an integrative way for self-expression.  In addition; this portfolio requires students to demonstrate proficiency in two-dimensional design using a variety of art forms.  Students should include a variety of approaches to representation, abstraction; and expression for the 2-D Design portfolio.  Foundations Art 12 Honours is recommended to be taken at the grade 11 level as a pre-AP course.  If the 2-D is purely photo based grade 11 level students need to take Photography 12. If the 2-D is purely digitally manipulated images grade 11 students are recommended to take Desktop Publishing 11 in grade 11.

AP 3-D Art & Design Portfolio

This portfolio is intended to address a broad interpretation of sculptural issues in depth and positive/negative space. Work for this portfolio should show knowledge of and ability to use height, width, depth, and gravity as essential elements.  Elements and concepts can be articulated through additive, subtractive, and/or fabrication processes.  Students should show an exploration of relationships between imagery (literal structure) and material properties.  A variety of approaches to representation, abstraction, and expression may be part of this portfolio.

Advanced Placement Drawing Portfolio

This portfolio is designed to address a very broad interpretation of drawing issues and media.  Many types of painting, printmaking, and digitally manipulated images, as well as abstract and observational works, qualify as addressing drawing issues.  Light and shade, line quality, rendering of form, composition, surface manipulation, and illusion of depth are also drawing issues that can be addressed through a variety of means.  In addition, for this portfolio students should demonstrate an exploration of a range of marks used to make images. Foundations Art 12 Honours is recommended to be taken at the grade 11 level as a pre-AP course.

“Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”  

Pablo Picasso