Fine & Visual Arts Program

  • The Fine Art Program at Raa Middle School allows students an opportunity to explore various art media and techniques used to create a wide variety of 2D and 3D artworks. Students develop skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media collage and sculpture. Students practice, sketch, and manipulate the structural elements of art. Investigation of artwork from Western and non-Western cultures provides a means for students to expand their understanding and appreciation of the role of art in a global culture. Student artists gain skills in communication and the use of the art criticism progress to evaluate, explain, and measure artistic growth in personal and group works. This program incorporates hands-on activities and the consumption of art materials. Fine Art students also have the opportunity to have artworks on display in on-campus gallery spaces, Arts events, community events and competitions, as well as our end-of-the-year Art Show.

    Information for Parents

    Students are not required to purchase materials thanks to the District Arts Allocation, which allows extra funding for Arts programs to better allow all students access to the Arts. Donations of certain materials are always welcome: Magazines, newspapers, paint, pencils, and picture frames for display of artwork. We are always looking to add more 12x15, 16x20 and 18x24 frames in any color or style.

    Course Progression and Information

    • Visual 1 and Visual Art 2- Beginning exploration of media and techniques
    • 2D Studio Art 1- Intermediate course with further exploration of media and artwork composition.
    • 2D Studio/8th Grade High School Credit- Advanced course allowing students to experiment with 2D and 3D art practices as well as earn high school credit.

    Why should I join the Fine Arts/Visual Arts Program at Raa Middle School?

    Students should join our Fine Art Program if they have an interest in Art because we nurture creativity and artistic expression. Students have the opportunity to bring their interests into their art and create pieces that express themselves. Students learn to use a wide range of art media which allows them to make more informed decisions about the design process. Fine Art students are active members of the Raa campus with artworks routinely on display, live art at Arts Events, opportunities to participate in art competitions, the Raa Art Show, and help with set design and production for the yearly Raa Musical.

    Program Highlights & Awards

    • Winter Festival Youth Arts Exhibition- numerous winners
    • LCS Middle School Exhibition at the Foster Tanner Gallery- numerous winners
    • Community Art Competitions- numerous winners
    • Community Art collaboration with the 621 Gallery- 2021
    • COCA Arts Education Grant awardee 2021-22- Printmaking focused grant
    • COCA Arts Education Grant awardee 2022-23- Mosaic focused grant
    • COCA Arts Education Grant awardee 2023-2024- Bookmaking focused grant
    • Raa Art Show

    Student Testimonials

    “There are so many opportunities and growth potentials. I love walking into Art and knowing it is a new, open creative space.” Spencer

    “There are so many reasons why you should choose Art at Raa. Promoting self-expression, developing creativity, and supportive in growing individual art styles. You learn more about art and get better at it. Plus it's fun!” -Sophie

    “Art at Raa helps you express yourself with colors, shapes and perspective without having to say a word.” - Chimzi 

    “In Art at Raa Middle School you can extend your creativity level. Ms. Aylward is amazing, very nice, and a person you can look up to.” -Kathryn

    “Taking Art at Raa was the best choice I ever made. It has helped me improve my art. You can learn new techniques and different styles for artwork. It’s so fun learning what more you can create with the stuff you learn.”

    “I would encourage students to take Art at Raa because you explore the difficulties and challenges of coming up with and creating something. It opens your eyes to a more creative world.”

    “I have enjoyed learning different art skills over the last two years. Some of my favorites are watercolor, portrait drawing and all things shading.”

    “Art is a fun program where you can make art in cool ways. You learn fun skills like printmaking and bookmaking. They are your ideas but in a creative way. “

    “Art is cool and fun. There are many different styles of art to help you come up with your own and build creativity.” - Nolan

    “You should take Art at Raa because of the creative experiences that come with expressing yourself. Raa art combines fun teachings with interesting projects. The use of different materials provides a chance to create anything in your imagination. Raa art has given me the opportunity to make beautiful artwork and have fun in class.” - Tori 

    “Art has really helped me develop my style and perfect certain skills.” -Bryce 

    “You should join Raa Art so you can branch and grow your creativity, and express it through your art.” -Kingston

    “Art is great. It allows an opportunity to unleash your potential creatively.” Harper 

    “Art at Raa allows you to learn new techniques and about art tools that can help your artwork. It can have an impact on the type of art that you do. It explores different types of artworks and give you a chance to find which one fits you.” -Kelly

    “The Art program helps you express yourself and explore new things.” Tessa 

    “I have learned so many new art techniques and styles. My mind is always flying with new creative ideas!” Aaron 

    “Raa’s art program has allowed me to work with fancy art supplies. Plus Ms. Aylward is the best art teacher in the county!” -Harper 

    “You get to be as creative as you would like, and you get to try all kinds of new materials and techniques that you may have never known existed.” -Ashlyn  

    “I took a beginning Art class last year for the first time. I have learned a lot. Art is more fun and interesting than I imagined. I’m enjoying taking more Art this year!” -Mar’kuan 

    “I have enjoyed the variety of projects we have done and materials that we have used. Ms. Aylward is great too.”  -Eden

    “Art is a great way to de-stress from my other classes.” Aniyah 



Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Katie Aylward-Smith

Katie Aylward-Smith has been the Fine Art instructor at Raa Middle School for 11 years. She holds a Studio Art degree from Florida State University and collaborates with FSU’s Art Education program by hosting Art Ed students in the classroom. In addition to teaching our Fine Art classes, Mrs. Aylward-Smith is also the Arts Department Chair, Yearbook Club sponsor, and Backstage Director of the Raa Musical. Mrs. Aylward-Smith enjoys teaching Art and helping students interact with different art media and find what inspires their own art.

Last Modified on January 7, 2024