Christ Presbyterian Academy

Visual Arts

Cultivating Creativity

Students receive instruction in visual arts from preschool all the way through upper school.

Through pencil drawing, paint, collage, and clay, both preschool and lower school students discovery the delight of creativity in daily life. Middle schoolers add to their exploration sculpture, beadwork, and illustration as they move deeper into art history.

Upper school students have a four-level range from foundational elements through AP study, perfecting their skills while developing personal style, and the artistic habits of mind.

Program Highlights

Developing Depth and Voice

Students are mentored and advised as they develop the breadth and depth of their work.

Art III pursues a body of work centered around a particular self-selected idea/theme in depth. AP Art solidifies the student voice progressing portfolios for college credit.

Upper School Art Show

At this annual gallery-style showcase, Art III and AP Art students showcase their collections to family and friends. Hosted in the upper school, the event is a formal presentation of the year's creations. Students learn how to show art and also how to take art in, observing and commenting on peer work. 

Literary Magazine

CPA upper school's literary magazine Illumine features student artwork in tandem with literary pieces of fiction and poetry. Students collaborate to illustrate literary and visual pieces, coordinating layout and distribution of the publication. This venture is completely student-run. 

Upper School Gallery Days

Each upper school art class attends gallery days, experiencing the vibrant local art scene in Nashville. Instructors emphasize the works of local artists as a community engagement piece of the curriculum. Students are able to meet professional artists and observe art at work in their own surroundings. Whether sketching at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, touring the Frist Art Museum, or visiting a gallery in East Nashville, students get wide exposure to Nashville's art culture. 

Travel Study

The City of Dreams, New York City
Visual arts students are able to attend an annual travel study to New York City.

This travel study includes sketching throughout the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Chelsea High Line, New York Botanical Gardens, Central Park, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral along with one Broadway show, and a dinner cruise of the NYC Harbor.

2018-19 Awards and Accolades

  • Middle TN Regional Student Art Exhibition: First Place in Drawing for sophomore Addi Gerlach 

Visual Art for PS-12


The Joy of Creating
From the youngest age, CPA students are immersed in artistic experiences and opportunities to explore color, texture, and shapes through creative play. A dedicated art instructor leads weekly art workshops for all preschool students, engaging students in the sensory processes of making and seeing art. The annual Preschool Art Show is an exhibition of student artwork by class, showcasing pieces inspired by famous artists and diverse mediums. Students learn how to share their art with family and friends and also to appreciate the art of their peers- introducing them to a gallery-style event. 

Lower School

Foundations for Making and Observing Art
Lower school art classes are led with expert instruction and set in an environment for exploration and inspiration. Students participate in cross-curricular ventures, often creating art inspired from subject matter in Bible, Social Studies, or STEAM Lab. Students visit local centers for art like Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and the Frist Museum, learning how to observe and appreciate exhibits and artistic expression. Art classes explore the foundations of artistic technique with paint, drawing, clay, printmaking, mosaics, sculpting, and even more advanced technical pieces like batik and string installations.

Middle School

Advancing in Technique
Middle school art students are given advanced instruction in art history, and explore techniques of illustration like beadwork and sculpture. Units are often infused by theme, helping students dig deeper into the creative process to express what their art means to them and how others' art affects them. Student art is prominently displayed in the middle school building, sharing the themed work with the middle school community. Students are able to develop appreciation for specific mediums, giving them direction for their upper school art classes. 

Upper School

Diving Deeper into Mediums and Personal Style 
Upper school students have a four-level incremental opportunity beginning with two interchangeable skill survey classes Art IA (2-Dimensional) and Art IB (3-Dimensional). In Art II student explore their artistic voice through visual journals, sketchbook prompts, painting, sculpting and field trips to local art environs. Art III advances student learning in personal style and artistic habits of the mind along with skill growth as they pursue a body of works centered around a particular idea/theme. AP Art solidifies the student’s voice as an artist and who God called them to be. This intense exploration of art making, self-discovery, and strength-honing serves students serious about progressing their portfolio and receiving college credit.