The Art Design and Photography Department takes advantage of indirect light and, similar to studios found in most art schools, boasts a unique mezzanine studio level for Advanced Higher students. The department is well equipped and staff members provide a wide variety of skills in array of subject areas, such as printmaking, textiles, jewellery, computer graphics, photography and, of course, traditional drawing and painting.
The department is always a hive of activity, with lunchtime art clubs for younger pupils and after-school supported study for senior pupils. The high quality of work by pupils is displayed around the school and students often contribute work to public exhibitions. Pupils are also involved in a wide range of local and national competitions, such as the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy Schools Art Award, The Rotary Young Photographer of the Year and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Poster Competition.
We work closely and enjoy cross-curricular projects with departments in both the Senior and Junior School. Recently, we have worked on an Environmental Art Project with Biology and English, and created beach art at Loch Lomond with Junior 1.
We take advantage of our unique location by taking S3 Art and Design pupils by train up to Loch Eil Outward Bound Centre near Fort William every year for a weekend of land art, which involves sculpture with found objects, beach art, sketching, painting, photography and outdoor activities such as gorge walking and canoeing. This helps to expand their horizons and create art in an environment that is outside the classroom. We then have an exhibition of the pupils' work from Loch Eil in our Creative Arts Evening, which also involves the Music and Drama Departments.
We enjoy visiting local galleries, exhibitions and take S3 pupils to Kelvingrove Art Galleries and Museum for a practical and critical workshop each year run by the museum curators. This is invaluable to let pupils see real paintings up close and to explore and analyse these paintings in preparation for the written element of the course.
Every year we showcase the S4-6 pupils’ work who have been presented for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in our annual Art, Design and Photography Exhibition in the main art room. This is an important occasion to show parents, pupils and staff the diversity of work produced and to celebrate the successes of pupils in our department.