Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Department at SOTA is an academically challenging program created to help students develop their own style through carefully designed curriculum. Courses are taken in sequence, one each semester of the freshman and sophomore year beginning with the required basic Drawing and Foundation classes. After completion, students may then elect to pursue Photography, Graphic Design, Filmmaking, Advanced Illustration and Painting. Each area of study contains it’s own sequence of courses, integrating beginning and advanced students as both teacher and learner.  Class instruction incorporates science, math, music, dance and humanities courses in order to create a deeper understanding of shared elements and concepts.

Adjunct Artists:  Unique to SOTA is our Adjunct Artist Program. Students have the opportunity to experience instruction and learn from professional artists working in their own areas of expertise. Artists share their personal work and field questions about the professional side of the art world.  Students may be introduced to a variety of mediums and techniques, depending upon the array of artists teaching at the school in any given semester. In this way, SOTA can offer a wide range of arts classes while still providing the depth of instruction required to develop a unique visual voice.

Internships: In addition to semester offerings, junior and senior students have the ability to work with professionals in their field through the SOTA Internship Program. During Miniterm, students may apprentice for 3 weeks through opportunities set up many art based fields including architecture, arts administration, museum studies, graphic design firms, and education, to name but a few of the more than 100 internships available through the school. Some students move into extended internships for a full semester of exploration.  Many of the apprenticeships have worked into permanent paying positions for our students. Intended as a prologue to post high school planning, these unique offerings allow students to personally experience a wide variety of employment opportunities and guide them toward a career that underscores their passions.

Art Connections:  Our downtown location provides a rich urban environment, and through our partnerships with the University of Washington, Metro Parks, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Children’s Museum, Rialto Theater, Broadway Performing Center, students make full use of the institutions that were built to serve them. ​​