MCPS VISUAL ART CENTER PROGRAM
THE VISUAL ART CENTER (VAC) IS A NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ADVANCED ART, COUNTY-WIDE “PRE-COLLEGE" ART PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT MCPS ART MAGNET PROGRAM.”
THE VAC WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY BOE IN 1974
THE VAC IS LOCATED AT ALBERT EINSTEIN HIGH SCHOOL, KENSINGTON, MD
The VAC offers a comprehensive, rigorous, advanced studio art curriculum with an emphasis on “portfolio development” that helps students realize and achieve their full potential as visual artists. In their time at the VAC, students develop a broader understanding of the fields of fine art, graphic design, commercial arts, social media and gain some perspective on potential careers in the visual arts. Students have the opportunity to become a part of an active art community of peers as they learn and develop their own individual "artistic voice" in a broad range of media. The Visual Art Center program is designed to meet the needs of talented students.
VAC students usually complete one or more College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art Exams (AP 2-D, Drawing and 3-D portfolio exams.) Most VAC graduates go on to study fine art or related fields at liberal arts colleges, university art programs and many prestigious art colleges. Over the last 20 years, VAC students have won many national and local awards for their portfolios and as a group have garnered over $50 million dollars in scholarship and grant offers.
The VAC is one of the M.C.P.S. Magnet “Application Programs.” Students apply to the VAC through the MCPS Magnet portal and attend an "VAC Application Day" in December where students will have the opportunity to present their existing artwork, a teacher recommendation and to complete an "on-site" drawing session and an interview. The competitive application process occurs in late fall of each school year for acceptance and enrollment for the next school year. 15% of VAC Students are Cross-Scheduled with other MCPS high school programs and can attend the VAC for two periods during the morning session for Freshmen and either morning or afternoon sessions for grades 10-12. MCPS DOES NOT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN SCHOOLS.
There are two double period morning sessions (Periods 1/2 & 3/4) that are focused on Grade 9/VAC1, Grade 10/VAC2 and Grade 11/VAC3 (AP-2D Design) curriculum. There are two double periods (5/6 & 6/7) sections and a triple period (5,6,7) section in the afternoon for Grade 10/VAC2 and Grade 11/VAC3 (AP-2D Design) & Grade 12/VAC4(AP-Drawing) curriculum.
VAC CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
· demonstrations, seminars, and lectures
· concentrated study and work in a variety of mediums
· field study and observations
· group and individual critiques and exhibitions
· college and career counseling
· Advanced Placement exams and scholarship competitions
· College presentations and portfolio reviews
Studies at the VAC include; exploration of drawing, painting, applied graphic design and other traditional and digital media. Lessons consist of lectures, demonstrations, visual presentations, studio activities, assigned research, group critiques, artist and gallery visits. In addition, VAC students have the opportunity to participate in the “NFAA/Young Arts,” National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards,” “NAACP- ACT-SO,” the “Congressional HS Art Competition” and many other local art competitions.
The Visual Art Center provides a rigorous fine arts program designed as an advanced level art curriculum directed toward portfolio development for students pursuing scholarship to collage and careers in the visual arts.
VISUAL ART CENTER GOALS:
Provide an advanced level curriculum in the visual arts with an emphasis on 2D processes with a strong foundation in design, art history and aesthetics.
Help students realize and achieve their full potential as young artists and to prepare them for careers in the visual arts, graphic design, communication and media and related fields.
Assist students in their pursuit of future college education in fine art, communication, design, animation, illustration through portfolio development and scholarship competition.
MCPS Visual Art Center Faculty: