Visual Art

We are passionate about the arts at St. John’s and the Primary School is the starting point for us to see young children develop.

The Primary School arts program is a very important part of the curriculum. Students become aware at a very early age of the visual and tactile properties in all kinds of artifacts and other art forms in their environment. 

Our students come from all over the world and bring with them their own personal experiences. This diversity can be enhanced with the different forms of art we look at, and by the different kinds of art made by themselves and others. The experience is enhanced by visiting professional artists and by trips to museums, and through art appreciation.

The St. John’s art studios are always bubbling with enthusiastic Middle School students. Our Middle School art classes are part of an established Arts Programme involving music, art and drama. The art curriculum is designed to encourage students to express themselves creatively while learning and applying various techniques and approaches. As art teachers, we believe that young adolescents need many opportunities to be creative and expressive, to follow their creative instincts — yet at the same time, develop their intellectual ability to analyse, interpret and reflect on art.

The art projects always involve practical creative work as well as written work which reflect students’ understanding of themes and ideas discussed in each unit, research on artists and their works and a personal reflection to assess their own achievements for each project. Skill development ranges from observational drawings to compositions drawn from their own imagination. Students learn various techniques, such as drawing and painting in several media, cutting and pasting in collage, constructing three-dimensional shape ceramics and using new technological approaches to assist in their artistic creations.

At St. John’s, art is a passion as well as a course, one where we see young men and women develop skills that will remain with them for life. We have created an environment in our art studio that encourages our students to be creative and passionate about what they do, expressing themselves by continually learning new techniques and use of different materials. Our programme is structured so that new students can gain a solid introduction to art and design through a range of group work, leading to smaller individual projects. Studio art, which is the next step, gives a foundation which prepares our students for the full IB Art and Design course. Our structured yet flexible initial approach is progressively developed to encourage our young artists and designers to take on a more mature and independent approach to work by developing individual themes and ideas.

The Greene Gallery

The art gallery hosts many exhibits by visiting artists each year and also showcases art by many of our talented students, staff members, parents and other members of the St. John's community.

The Greene Gallery is named after Rita Greene who was the founding art teacher at St. John’s and has an important role to play in raising awareness of the visual arts and encouraging cultural diplomacy between the international and local Belgian communities, both in its extensive program of exhibitions and workshops by visiting artists and its many art shows in Primary, Middle and High School.

The Gallery is a vital resource that plays an integral role in the whole art curriculum by encouraging students to experience and experiment with display in a professional exhibition space, engaging them in a wider critical dialogue and placing value on their creativity and personal expression. It embodies in practice the school’s ethos and core educational values and provides a unique focus for an active and reflective involvement in the arts for individual students, as well as social and cultural interaction for the school and wider community.

The Arts Support Programme

The Visual and Performing Arts Support Programme consists of a group of volunteer parents and faculty who work together to support, promote, and celebrate the visual and performing arts at St. John’s.  

Thanks to the ASP, our arts events always have a wonderful energy and ambience, as well as some of the best refreshments to be found in Belgium!