Online since 2004.  This page last updated Jan 2017

Upper School Visual Arts Department

Here you can acquaint yourself with the Visual Arts department of the Upper School, grades 6 to 12. You can link to other pages from here to discover how art is taught, what facilities we enjoy using and what different types of art-learning are happening outside the studios at FIS. You can also get to know our visual arts faculty, see examples of what some of our students have created and view images from past exhibitions.

FIS opens the 2017 Visual Arts, Music and Filmmmaking Diploma Exhibition Vernissage

Every March, the senior IB Diploma candidates in the Visual Arts course, in collaboration with their Music and Filmmaking peers, assemble their Diploma level exhibition on the walls and in the halls of the Da Vinci building at FIS.  Two years of efforts in the studios and classrooms cascade into the public areas of the school and the excitement builds as the exhibition takes shape.  Then, on a Friday evening, the community gathers to celebrate, to congratulate and to appreciate the work those young artists and musicians have accomplished.  Hundreds of parents, faculty and friends attend the exhibition's vernissage (a 19th century Parisian term that describes a private viewing of recently finished - or "varnished" - artworks), which has become a social staple of the school calendar and the event that, for many of us, really opens the exam season in our school.


On Friday 17 March 2017 17 highly talented young artists, musicians and filmmakers exhibited their IB Diploma work in the Vernissage.  Our Head of School, Dr. Paul Fochtman, opened the festivities with an introduction of our candidates and invited the entire school community to view their work and discuss their creative journeys.  It was an superb evening of culture, fine food and drink and excellent conversation.  Click on the poster image for a download of the event invitation.

Visual Arts at FIS: A Tradition and a Philosophy


FIS has always had a very strong and well-supported program in Visual Arts. The level of sophistication and maturity with which our students approach their education in art has always set FIS apart as a leader in International education and as the first choice for Internationally-minded families in the Frankfurt area who recognize the growing role of the visual arts and creativity in a high quality, well-rounded education.


We believe it is important that students develop the creative, intellectual and practical skills necessary to express themselves visually, to understand the visual world in which they live and to appreciate the cultural diversity of humankind.   The knowledge gained by participation in art requires a unique awareness developed by study and activity, which enables a student to perceive aesthetically with discrimination and intuition.


To achieve this, the students at FIS learn about art through the examination of artistic production from various cultures and periods of history, by visiting different cultural centers and by meeting artists.   They learn by creating art by experiencing the creative process in all its many forms of planning and execution. Finally, they learn through art by cooperative learning, interdisciplinary themes, class room discussion and by presenting their work before others.


It is essential, in a well-rounded approach to art education, to provide opportunities for students at this advanced stage of development to experience as many areas of traditional visual expression as possible. Therefore, we include Drawing, Printing, Sculpture, Printmaking, Textiles, Ceramics, Photography, Digital Film and Video and Technology-aided Design in a program that provides a comprehensive range of experiences throughout the Upper School years. A more detailed look at our curriculum in the Visual Arts by clicking on Curriculum page link above.


Finally, we pride ourselves on the success of our graduating art students, many of whom go on to some of the highest ranked art schools in the world. Our recent four graduating classes alone included art students who were accepted for study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design (New York City), Surrey Institute of Art and Design, the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and the Hong-Ik School of Art in Korea. These, like many before them, carry the long FIS legacy of rigorous art-related training with them as they enter the upper echelon of sophisticated, successful artists and designers worldwide. We wish them, and all of our students (young and old) success.


We sincerely hope that you enjoy this opportunity to get to know us here in the Upper School Art Department at FIS. The site is maintained directly by the Head of the Visual Arts Department and is updated regularly. Below is a contact form and your comments are likewise sent directly to the Head of Visual Arts. So go ahead and click the different links at the top or bottom of these pages for a full tour of the Visual Arts Department.

IB Diploma results at FIS scrutinized

In an effort to improve our performance, the Visual Arts department at FIS has undertaken a study and analysis of its students' results in the IB exam over the past fifteen years, from 2001 to 2016. With the aim of understanding how such variables as class size, instructor and number of Higher and Standard level students affect our outcomes, we have patiently assembled some data that might help us to formulate approaches toward better results in the course.


For a more comprehensive look at this study and some of its outcomes, go to our Curriculum page and read up on what we've discovered and in what directions this might guide us in our efforts for future Visual Arts students at the IB Diploma level in FIS or just click here.



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