Why Study Art?
Art is a thriving subject at King’s with consistently good results and a growing cohort of talented students. The diversity of the courses we offer aims to stretch creative minds and develop visual literacy.
Today’s employers are looking for creative thinkers and people who are willing to take risks. Through theme based projects pupils meet a variety of challenges and learn to independently develop ideas and formulate creative solutions. Through exploration and experimentation, we encourage our pupils to be imaginative thinkers who can make decisions and communicate confidently in our increasingly visual world.
Every year we have pupils who move on to study art related courses at university such as Interior design, architecture, Photography and fashion management.
Drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture are just some of the experiences of pupils working in the area of Fine Art. Pupils are encouraged to be experimental and discover their strengths at the same time as developing their ability to communicate ideas and solve problems. All practical work is supported by contextual research and gallery visits, artist workshops and talks play a key role.
GCSE pupils follow the broad, coursework based Art and Design course which also allows for the exploration of textiles and photography. This leads on to Fine Art at A Level where pupils build more mature and sophisticated portfolios of work and are guided though their university applications if applying for arts based courses.
Designing, sewing, fusing, printing and constructing are just some of the experiences of pupils working in the area of textiles.
GCSE textiles is a great ‘hands-on’ course for those who love being creative and are interested in fashion, surface pattern design, interior design and art–based textile design.
The focus is very much on developing technical skills through experimentation and creativity.
Pupils will explore a wide range of techniques and build a portfolio of work reflecting personal responses to a theme. They will have the opportunity to work towards a brief and understand how to meet the needs of a client. This will aim to give pupils a better understanding of textiles in 'industry'.
A level photography is a creative course and perfect for pupils with a keen interest in learning how to capture exciting images that communicate their ideas. Pupils will explore a range of photographic media, techniques and processes to develop their technical skills. Through theme base projects, pupils will study areas such as portrait photography, landscape, still life, documentary and experimental imagery. Alongside this, researching the work of other photographers and artists is an integral part of the investigating and making process. Pupils develop and manage their own websites as well as documenting their work in sketchbooks.
Meet the Staff
Head of Art
Clare Schmidt, BA in Fine Art (DeMontfort Leicester), is our Head of Department. Clare is a practising mixed media artist who brings a wealth of teaching experience and expertise in her subject to the art department at King's. Through her own work, Clare explores the possibilities of combining photography with painting and collage to create images with unusual luminosity and vibrancy of colour. Her work is exhibited and sold throughout the South West.
Anna Simpson, MA in Fine Art: Painting, Wimbleden College of Art, works alongside Claire on a part time basis. Also a practising artist, Anna exhibits her work under the name Anna Morris. Her work explores the transformative effect of light on surface, land and sea, using a variety of techniques and medium: some conventional such as oil paint, collage and print, others less common – wrapping oak blocks with thread, soaking card and paper in oil, using household paints and varnishes, scoring and incising perspex and plywood in order to make marks.
Last year, Anna exhibited her work in our gallery as part of Somerset Arts Week and was the featured artist in Evolver Magazine (The Wessex Arts and Culture Guide).
Ivan Schmidt is our Art Technician. Ivan is also a professional photographer and works closely with our photographer pupils.
Growing up in France, Ivan spent years travelling, working in education and business. To date he has taught in the South West for 20 years, and has a wealth of experience inside and outside the classroom.