The Art and Design Department at Leweston is a lively and original place which offers the girls an opportunity to explore a range of creative areas. The Art and Design Centre houses two general studios, two Sixth Form studios, a pottery workshop, textiles workshop and graphics studio giving the girls the specialist resources they need for their talents to develop.
The department gives the girls numerous opportunities for their work to be seen by the wider community. We run two annual events: the Wearable Arts Fashion Show in the autumn and the summer Art Exhibition where GCSE and A Level work is showcased. Some examples of work from this year's events are shown in the gallery below.
For Year 7 through to Year 9 the emphasis is on building the girls skills and broadening their awareness of art and design. With each year group the department aims to give them experience of fine art, textiles, graphic design and sculpture or ceramics. The girls have the opportunity to experiment with a wide range of materials and research the work of artists and designers both historical and contemporary.
The standard at GCSE is very high and girls have the opportunity to build on the skills formed earlier. We particularly encourage individuality and independent learning. The broad creative areas the girls explore result in vibrant imaginative work which displays their enthusiasm and desire to create impressive art works.
At A Level the girls relish the opportunity to pursue their studies further. They have the opportunity to choose Fine Art, Textiles and History of Art; some even chose to take all three subjects. The courses also require the girls to attend weekly life drawing classes which we run in association with the Art Department of Sherborne School.
Within the Fine Art course the girls start with intensive sessions to develop their observational drawing skills as well as extending their knowledge of materials. With each project the girls are encouraged to develop their work in individual directions. The practical coursework is backed up by a series of sessions of art history both contemporary and historical. Each year a number of girls go on to pursue Art Foundation courses both in London and the South West.
As part of their research for projects all girls get the opportunity to visit exhibitions locally and in London as well as drawing on the location at Leweston and the wonderful surrounding countryside. An important part of our aim to broaden the girls visual awareness are the annual art study tours which we organise for sixth form and GCSE students. Previous destinations have included Venice, Florence, Rome, Berlin, Amsterdam, New York, Washington and Barcelona and recently we have organised combined tours with the History of Art Department of Winchester College.