Visual Arts and Photography is one of the Programs in the Jah Kente International Department of Fine Arts.
Visual Arts designs are rooted in our everyday life, flowing through all levels of human creativity, expression, communication, and understanding. The Visual Arts curriculum includes Photography.
The Visual Art is a long life lesson of discovery, experimentation and problem-solving, and the development of perception about visual images as trainees utilize techniques, technologies, practices and processes with images, sound and text and become increasingly confident and proficient in achieving their personal visual aesthetic, and appreciating and valuing that of others.
Accordingly, our young and budding visual artists view the world through various lenses and contexts. They recognize the significance of Visual Arts histories, theories and practices, exploring and responding to artists, craftspeople and designers and their artworks. They apply their knowledge in order to make critical judgments about their own importance as artists and audiences.
Youths create visual representations that communicate, challenge, and express their own and others’ ideas, as an artist and audience. They develop perceptual and conceptual understandings, critical reasoning, and practical skills by exploring the world through visual arts.
Trainees learn about the role of the artist and designer, their contribution to society, and the significance of the creative work in the creative industry. The learn that their work has the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich the lives of young people and society at large, and are encouraged to develop their creative and intellectual potential with the understanding and skills to represent meanings associated with personal and global views, and also intrinsic and extrinsic values in the real world.
In this process, young people develop understandings of their own and other cultures, and their responsibilities as global citizens.
The activities range from traditional forms from local to wider communities, societies, and cultures. They are varied and divergent practices associated with new, emerging, and contemporary forms and they may converge from different cultures. The work of the visual artist may influence socio-political movements and narratives, create spiritual, functional, symbolic, and decorative value. The visual arts can be persuasive and resisting oppression, enlightening, and uplifting.
The images and objects are appreciated, enjoyed, respected by, responded to, and critiqued by, people from around the world. This was the case for our MBSYEP 2020 visual artist Zahi Covington whose work sold! and is coming back for MBSYEP 2021.
Theories and practices in visual arts are dynamic, ever-changing, inter-disciplinary as they connect many areas of knowledge and human experience through individual and collaborative exploration, creative production, and critical interpretation.
Visual Development Artists
Visual Development Artists use various techniques, including drawings and 3D computer programs, to create visual ideas for films, video games, advertising, and publishing. The create the background, environments, colors, and lighting that accompany characters. They design book covers, as well as other marketing material, to convey the initial idea or feel of the piece, and the final design. It is necessary that visual development artists have a wide toolbox of design and drawing software to create graphics and animations.
Concept artists may interface with film and play directors, architects, and other clients to sketch out ideas for their projects. By researching the details of the project, including the location, story of a character, our young employees will be able to create life-like, two and three-dimensional representations. As concept artist, the trainee is open to feedback and apply changes suggested by other designers - including their colleagues.
Public art instills meaning—a profound sense of identity and understandings of where we live, work, and presence of the arts create memorable experiences and reflects. All of these humanizes the built environment, provides an intersection between yesterday - the past, today, the present; and tomorrow future, and the effects can create and vibrant, strong and thriving community.
Public art provides a myriad of positive impact on communities with the artists as a catalyst in supporting economic growth and sustainability, attachment and cultural identity, social cohesion and cultural understanding, and public health and belonging.
Course Unit 1:
Creative and Design Thinking
3D Visual Expression : Object and Space
Introduction to History of Visual Arts
Photography and Moving Image
Course Unit 2
Harlem Renaissance Arts and Influence Today. Cultural Studies
2D Visual Expression: Image Making
Digital Media and Sound
Expanded Studies: Workshop Practice I
Course Unit 3
Aesthetics and Semiotics. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols, in particular as they communicate things spoken and unspoken. Common signs that are understood globally include traffic signs, emojis, and corporate logos. Written and spoken language is full of semiotics in the form of intertextuality, puns, metaphors, and references to cultural commonalities.
Master Class with Visiting Artist
Expanded Studies: Workshop Practice II
Course Unit 4 :
Introduction to Arts Project Management
Introduction to African Art
Visual Arts Research and Analysis
Expanded Studies: Community Art
Course Unit 5 :
Professional Practice: Public Arts Exhibition and Career Management
World Culture of Visual Arts
Summative Project for Visual Arts and Culture
PHOTOGRAPHY Professional photographers, amateur photographers, and hobbyists all share a goal: to create the best photographs possible. In this course you will learn what takes a photo “good.” You will discover how to determine your purpose in creating a photo.
You will then go out into the field to capture your own set of photos. Throughout the course you will refine your photographic eye through practice and critique of your work and the work of others. Using the fundamentals of photography, you will go back in the field to retake and improve your best images. By the end of this course, you will develop the ability to visualize the world as a photographer and use the fundamentals to improve your confidence in taking pictures.
Photography Fundamentals Professional photographers, amateur photographers, and hobbyists all share a goal: to create the best photographs possible. In this course you will learn what makes a photo “good.”
You will discover how to determine your purpose in creating a photo. You will then go out into the field to capture your own set of photos. Throughout the course you will refine your photographic eye through practice and critique of your work and the work of others. Using the fundamentals of photography, you will go back in the field to retake and improve your best images. By the end of this course you will have developed the ability to visualize the world as a photographer and use the fundamentals to improve your confidence in taking pictures. 6-10 hours to complete this course.
Camera Selection and Mechanics The camera is a photographer's primary tool. Other tools, such as lighting and editing, are important, but the use and control of the camera features is what enables a photographer to create fundamentally beautiful photographs. In this course, you will investigate camera types and how to select the one that is best for you.
You will consider standard camera features to see how they can be used to obtain the results you want. You will explore the mechanics and uses for the different parts of the camera such as the viewfinder, lenses, shutter speed, and aperture size.
You will then discover how to use and manipulate these elements to create different types of photographic results. Using these techniques, you will practice taking different photos of the same subject to get different results. You will also experiment with different techniques to capture mood and motion in your photos. By the end of this course you will have a toolkit of techniques at your disposal to create the type of photo you want. 6-10 hours to complete this course.
Digital Asset Management In this course, you will select and use an image management system to organize, edit, and share your photographs. You will import existing photos, choose appropriate digital information, add keywords and tags, and organize them for an efficient workflow. Then you will edit your photos through manipulating brightness, sharpness, light, color, and other adjustments, to continually refine your image to meet your purpose and ensure your vision comes to life. Finally, you will identify the most appropriate way to share photos for your intended audience and do so. By the end of this course, you will complete a professional workflow that allows you to effectively take your photos, edit them, and share them. 6-10 hours to complete this course.
Lighting In this course you will explore different lighting effects and the results they have on your photograph. You will analyze existing photos to determine the lighting techniques that the photographer used and identify the effect that it has on the feeling of the photo. Then you will experiment with both natural and artificial light to manipulate the effect of light in your photos. You will determine which techniques are most appropriate for your vision to invoke the desired emotions about your subject. By the end of this course you will have a lighting portfolio that represents your preferred lighting style. 6-10 hours to complete this course.
Style and Expression Through Photography You will differentiate the functional and expressive components of a photograph in a photographer's interpretation of a subject. You will then evaluate different photos to determine the different styles the photographers are using and the emotions they are invoking. By using camera and lighting mechanics, you will practice stylizing your photos to express different emotions about your subject. You will determine which techniques resonate with your personal artistic persona and begin to refine your stylistic expression. By the end of this course you will have a portfolio to demonstrate your expressive intentions with photos that may make people think, gain their interest, or touch their emotions.
It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Camera Selection and Mechanics and Lighting or have equivalent experience in photography, cameras, and lighting. 6-10 hours to complete this course.
Building a Photography Portfolio this course, you will use your understanding of camera and lens functions, lighting, editing, style, and expression to create a photography project that is representative of your specific interests and skills. You will first decide what the purpose of your project is, what your portfolio will include, and who your audience is. You will then go into the field to take photographs, assess them, and return to the field to take them again.
You will select your best photos and write the wall mount descriptions for each one. You will create an action plan for how you will display your photography project. Finally, you will critique the photography projects of your peers while receiving a critique of your own project to see how your and your classmates' visions and purposes were interpreted. By the end of this course, you will have created a photographic project that demonstrates your skills and which can stand on its own as a portfolio, exhibition, job, or assignment. 14-19 hours to complete this course.
Professional Photography In this course, you will explore what it means to “work professionally.” In the photographer's context, working professionally is not the nuts and bolts of running a business. Rather, it focuses on developing a professional mindset and work approach that enables you to represent yourself and your work well.
First you will determine your goals as a photographer and create an action plan for how to achieve those goals. You will then create a website or social media profile that communicates your photographer persona and/or professional aspirations. You will also define an action plan to protect your work physically and legally and maintain a professional reputation. By the end of this course you will have the appropriate professional mindset and practices to achieve your professional or personal goals as a photographer. 6-10 hours to complete this course.