Creativity, imagination and self expression are embedded within the heart of the Art department.
From S7 (Year 7) to S9 (Year 9), girls build up their confidence, enthusiasm and practical skills, working with a variety of 2D and 3D media in order to communicate their ideas and visual experiences with competence and flair. They learn how to appreciate and value images and artifacts from different cultures and reflect on the meaning of their own work and the work of others, researching and drawing in their sketchbooks as preliminary study. They are encouraged to experiment with different disciplines including drawing and painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, textiles, photography, and alternative media with an enjoyment of art and creativity fostered from the beginning.
S9 (Year 9) Toys Exhibition
As they progress, girls may choose to take the Edexcel GCSE and A-Level Art examinations. Throughout their course work, they fine-tune their artistic skills and are able to follow personal explorations in their specialist areas, guided by their teachers. Critical and cultural studies are taught as part of studio practice and are an important component of both examination levels.
At GCSE level girls produce a portfolio of work including sketchbook research and supporting studies. Themes such as "Organic Forms Sculptures", "Portraits" and "Environments" are followed and students develop these initial ideas into personal outcomes, working with their preferred media and ideas. Visits to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery and York City Art Gallery ensure that they learn from the experience of looking at artwork firsthand. At the end of S11 (Year 11), girls display their work in an end of course exhibition, which celebrates their creative achievements.
Multi-media GCSE Art
At A-Level, students study the Edexcel course. Throughout the two years they build up a sustained and focused portfolio of artwork, which is informed by contextual sources, shows a high standard of practical expertise, is meaningful and represents personal exploration of ideas. Initially, in College I (Year 12), girls work from a common theme, which acts as a springboard for independent study. Topics such as "Insects and Specimens", "Reflection and Transparency" and "Costumes "have been studied in the past. The A-Level course demonstrates their ability to experiment and select appropriate resources and media, record and research the work of others and realise their intentions as creative outcomes. They also produce a Personal Study, which is a 1000 – 3000 word illustrated project that gives students the opportunity to research a theme in depth and informs their practical work. Annual educational visits to galleries such as Tate Britain, Tate Modern, V&A, Saatchi Gallery and The National Gallery are organised to complement their taught course.
A-Level Art Exhibition
The Art department staff are practising artists who have exhibited their work both locally and nationally, and The Mount School has hosted Art exhibitions including the York Open Studios that offer the opportunity to broaden the girls' artistic experiences. Artists are invited to school to talk and work with girls and visits are made to artist's events. Together with the Creative Studies team staff offer expertise in Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics, Photography, Textiles and Jewellery Making and workshops in these areas combined with Life Drawing classes are all part of a rich and varied extra-curricular art programme. We also visit many local and national Art galleries in Yorkshire, London and Paris.
Zandra Rhodes meets College students in York
Our girls go on to study a variety of specialist degree courses including; Architecture, History of Art, Fine Art, Sculpture, Textiles, Fashion, Design, Engineering and Art Foundation Courses. Girls have continued their studies at Central St Martin's(Foundation and Fine art), Cambridge (Architecture), the Royal College of Art (Fashion), Leeds College of Art, Edinburgh (Architecture) and Wimbledon College Of Art. Girls are encouraged to enter competitions with great success including Sky Arts Landscape Art of the Year. We must not forget our own Rachel Howard, a contemporary painter who worked with Damien Hirst and completed College (Years 12 and 13) at The Mount School.
Celia Wood wins the first round of Sky Landscape Artist Of The Year 2015