Upper School Visual Arts Department

Online since 2004.  This page last updated Mar 2020

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.

The 2020 IB Diploma

Group Exhibition Opens 20 March to limited audience

This year's annual IB Diploma Vernissage will mark a high point of celebration as we present the amazing work of 17 young Visual Artists, Musicians and Design Technology students all in one opening, but due to efforts to control the spread of the current viral outbreak, the audience this year will be limited to current students and staff, the candidates and their immediate families only.  It promises to be an evening of creativity, innovation and technology in the Da Vinci wing of the FIS Oberursel campus.  Head of School, Dr. Paul Fochtman, will introduce our candidates at 17:00 in the Atrium and some refreshments will be provided as spectators question our senior students exhibiting their skills in both the design and the creative processes. Click the image left to view this year's poster - an homage to Norman Rockwell by Gus Floor and Yuki Hirao.



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. 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.


The FIS VR (Virtual Reality) Project makes its debut in Visual Arts classes


Learning in Visual Arts classes at FIS takes many forms and makes use of many different media, techniques and technology.  Our latest initiative has focused on developing our skills in three dimensional painting and drawing using a newly appropriated Virtual Reality tool, installed in our exhibition gallery space (room 349) in the Da Vinci wing near the art studios.  Students in Mr. Trebel's and Ms Russo Scherr's classes were able to experiment with the device, running on a laptop which was, in turn, plugged into the gallery projector, allowing spectators gathered around the gallery to "see" what the artist in the VR space perceived.  The space was also avaliable for students during lunch, break and after school hours for extended experimentation.  Using the VR goggles and controllers, the young artists stepped into the world of Tiltbrush - an app created by Google for painting in three dimensional virtual space. To know more follow this link:





With time, we hope to make work in the VR studio a regular feature of both our 6-10 Visual Arts curriculum as well as a unique tool and superb technological advantage for our IB Diploma candidates, who are required to explore many varying forms of art, including digital and lens-based work.  Students wishing to make use of this amazing new technology should consult with Mr. Trebel, Ms. Russo Scherr or Mr. Stothard in the Humanities department about the possibilities in the software and scheduling a time in which to develop their skills and work.  The VR Project serves as yet other example of how FIS seeks to fulfill its mission to inspire individuals to develop their intellect, creativity and character by providing access to exciting, cutting-edge technology in its classrooms and art studios whenever possible.

Two decades of IB Diploma level Visual Arts 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 nineteen years, from 2001 to 2019. 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.




A world of opportunities

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