Fine Arts Courses

collections of art students work

Students at The Vanguard School have won over a hundred prestigious fine art awards, including over 100 award-winning art pieces at the Colorado Scholastic Art Competition.

The Vanguard School is proud to provide creative avenues that support our students’ natural artistic talents and abilities. Our fine arts courses give students options to experience a multitude of different creative mediums and excel in beginner to advanced level courses.

The Vanguard School is an institution of choice for students in grades K-12 from all over the Colorado Springs region. All teachers have the necessary qualifications in their fields and are committed to providing the highest academic opportunities for their students. At The Vanguard School, we provide students with a high-quality education, rigorous academic curriculum, and various creative opportunities. The artistic awards students have achieved here and the list of their accomplished works speak for themselves. We are wholly committed to discovering and developing the skills and talents of our students.

Fine Arts Courses Available at The Vanguard School

close up of a bright painting of a young Asian girls self portrait

At The Vanguard School, our students have the opportunity to take the following courses.

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing (techniques like sketching and charcoal)
  • Painting (acrylics, oil painting, and water painting)
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

Our exploratory art classes provide students with a wide range of mediums for each course listed above. Instructors study all the major competitions, so new ideas are frequently brought into the classroom. Moreover, we welcome the creative imaginations of our students and allow them to thrive and build upon their artistic skills.

Inside the Fine Arts Classroom

During art classes, students are taught all the major principles of art, such as balance, movement, proportion, rhythm, scale, unity, and variety. The principles of art represent key elements in art history and are important aspects of classical education.  Students are taught the mastery of classical techniques so they can best express their creative ideas in credible art forms.  Students are exposed to a variety of mediums where they will learn the tools and methods as well as the laws (do’s and don’ts) of each.

Our art classrooms are hands-on with an emphasis on lighting, focal point, and the fundamental principles of art and design. Classroom sizes are intentionally small, so to ensure that every student receives quality time with the instructor.

Student Focus

self portrait drawing of a student at The Vanguard School

Skill Mastery: Students are shown how to use various art-related tools, mediums, and techniques. Students paint and draw from still life objects and are shown the importance of balance between color and negative space—the beauty of detail and simplicity.

Student Ideas & Creativity: Students are encouraged to express their emotions and creative ideas in proven art forms. The classroom tends to be a highly creative and focused environment with proven success for over two decades.

Classroom Discussion: All students are required to contribute to their classes through discussion. Student discussion is important because art is not just a matter of skill, but also perspective.

The Principals of Art & Design

Students are shown the fundamental principles of art: movement, unity, variety, harmony, balance, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, proportion, and pattern with a particular focus on a focal point, dimension, and lighting. The principals of art are considered proven elements constant throughout all periods and styles of art and are threaded throughout instruction.

Fine Art Student Portfolio

A.P. students and those who have already participated in scholastic competitions have the opportunity to create professional portfolios. These professional portfolios consist of all the students’ awards, artwork, and grades earned throughout their enrollment. Students make portfolios to enter competitions where they can compete against other students from schools in the United States.

self portrait sketch of an art student at The Vanguard School
Javier Cenizas self portrait

Alyssa Jimeson

In High School, Alyssa Jimeson won a Gold Scholastic Award for a self-portrait drawing and another for a portrait of a girl named Brittney. Alyssa’s drawing also received a congressional “Best of Show.” Seven high school students at The Vanguard School won Gold Scholastic Awards during the 2019-2020 year, and three junior high students also received Gold awards. Alyssa won a national silver medal as an eighth-grader, as well as back-to-back national gold medals in her sophomore and junior years of high school. The national golds earned her a trip to New York for an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. She also won Best of Show her sophomore and senior years in the Congressional Art Competition. This accomplishment earned her a trip to Washington D.C., where her works are displayed in our national capital building. During the 2018-19 school year, Alyssa won a National Gold Medal and Gold Key from Scholastic in addition to “Best in Show” and third place in the Young Peoples Art Exhibition. Alyssa has also won multiple Gold/Silver medals from the Colorado Scholastic Art Awards consecutively since 2015.

Salomes painting of a man with a blue jay on his shoulder

Students Display Their Work in a Gallery

The Vanguard School provides an opportunity for its students to display their work.

  • K-12 grade students can display their art at the Young People’s Art Exhibition.
  • Several 7-12 grade students will display their art at national-level art shows.
  • High School level students can display at the Tri-peaks League and Congressional Art Shows.
  • The Vanguard School also displays student artwork in our libraries and various school buildings.
full color oil painting of Leslie, a student at The Vanguard School

Student Fine Arts Awards:

Vanguard’s award-winning artists have accumulated over 100 award-winning art pieces at the Colorado Scholastic Art Competition.

At The Vanguard School, students of all ages compete against other schools yearly for the Scholastic, Congressional, Tri-Peak League, and Young Peoples Art Exhibition Awards.

In 2019-2020, Junior High Student, Sissi Hu, won two Gold Scholastic Awards for self-portraits, one was a drawing, and the other was a painting.

Elizabeths self portrait

Vivian Corry

Vivian Corry won a Gold Key in Junior High and second place in the Young Peoples Art Exhibition.

Salomé Carrasco

As a senior, high school student, Salomé Carrasco, won three Colorado Gold Keys, one for her portfolio and two for individual pieces. Her state-level Gold Keys took her to nationals where she won a National Silver Medal for a self-portrait painting. Salome also won first place at the Congressional Awards for one of her paintings. She received second place for a 2D design in the Tri-Peak League, was given a Silver National Medal Award, and won first place in the Young Peoples Art Exhibition for High School in 2018-2019. Salome has won the Colorado Scholastic Awards every year since 2016.

black and white drawing of clowns by student artist Javier

Enhanced Scholarship Possibilities

Many students at The Vanguard School have received generous scholarships to study art. Javier, one of our top art students, won a major scholarship totaling $200,000 to Rhode Island School of Design. RISD is considered one of the top, if not the top art school, in the nation. Students have also received full-ride scholarships to Colorado State University.

Sign up for Fine Arts Classes at The Vanguard School

Parents or students interested in applying or learning more about our fine arts courses should contact our Enrollment Office at (719) 471-1999 ext. 101.