The Specialized Art Program at the Central Tech Art Centre is the only program of its kind in the Toronto area. Our philosophy of art education is reminiscent of Germany’s legendary Bauhaus, where aspiring artists developed skills across all media, learning to produce various kinds of art concurrently rather than favouring one medium over another. This style of learning helps to develop a well rounded skill set and maximizes your creative growth. All of our instructors have a minimum of a BFA in their area of instruction and/or significant industry experience.
All courses are supplemented with visiting artists to enhance the curriculum and create connections to the art world and community at large. Some of the exciting projects our students have completed in the recent school year include:
- CTS partnered with Westbank Corporation and guest artist Jessica Thalmann, to create collaborative hybrid projects using both analog and digital art techniques. Take a look at our massive mural installation on Bloor Street at Bathurst.
- CTS partnered with Canadian Art Magazine. Student work was published in the online portion of the magazine. Students worked with artists and editors to better understand the language of art criticism.
- Guest artist Evond Blake, AKA Mediah, tutored our students in digital design including photoshop and illustrator, and then instructed them on the finer points of manipulating a spray can to create a series of murals in the school.
- Guest artist Janet Macpherson, taught kids how to produce molds for ceramic work using found objects. The workshop was inspired by her acclaimed solo show “A Canadian Bestiary” at the Gardiner Museum.
- Students had work shown in a variety of shows. For TDSB creates, students worked with conceptual artist and OCAD instructor Lauren Schaffer to create assemblage sculptures.
Our facilities are unmatched in Canada, which gives us the resources to pursue a great number of projects with our students. Some of these facilities include:
- A fully equipped newly renovated MacLab, complete with 3D printer and large scale colour printer.
- Ceramics studio with class set of wheels.
- Sculpture studio for carving and casting in cement and bronze.
- Skylit drawing and painting studios for traditional skill development such as life-drawing, still-life rendering, perspective, as well as more contemporary creative approaches.
- Printmaking studio for photographic and drawn silk-screen printing, woodcut, copper etching and stone lithography.
The Specialized Program
The secondary specialized program consists of a package of 2 courses per year. Additional electives in art are also offered. Admission to all of the specialized art courses is by interview and permission of ACL. In each year, students are given “exclusive” access to the specialist studios, chances to work with professional artists, and a variety of opportunities to show their work in the community.
Grade 9: AWM 1O and AWT 1O In their grade nine year, students focus on fundamental traditional skills development such as drawing, painting, and perspective. They are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and experience a variety of the specialist studios to prepare them for more focused work in later years. Students begin to think critically about art by participation in in-class demonstrations as well as art reviews of gallery visits.
Grade 10, 11, 12: AWT2O , AWT 3/4 M and AWP 2O AWT 3/4 M In these years, students continue to practice and refine traditional skill development. Special opportunities to work with guest artists and to show their work in the community are a priority in order to foster confidence and to develop an understanding of the art world. Critical understanding is further developed through written reviews and class critiques. In these years, students spend extended stretches in the sculpture studio to deepen their understanding of the human form and to prepare them for senior bronze and/or cement artworks.
Grade 9-12, AVI 1O, AVI 2O, AVI 3M, AVI4M
AVI courses explore fundamental visual arts skills such as the elements and principals, drawing skills, painting techniques and 3D art skills. Students will occasionally have opportunities to sample the specialized art studios for individual projects. These courses are open to all students including those in the specialized art program who want to take even more art classes. This is also a great way to build skills in order to enter the specialized program!
Grade 11 and 12 AWC 3/4M, Ceramics
The one place where it’s okay to throw your bowl! In this focus course students explore both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. Our purpose built ceramics studio has 14 wheels and large tables so students have ample personal working space. Students will also learn a variety of surface treatments such as printmaking on clay; inlay; sgraffito; underglaze painting, and use of traditional glazes. Students will have the chance to make functional pottery as well as ceramic art.
There is also a wide variety of creative offerings outside of the art department offered at Central Technical including Fashion, Architecture, Welding, Photography/ Digital Communications, Robotics, and more!
Admission and Applications
Admission to this program is based on a portfolio interview which happens in early spring. Deadline for application is based on the TDSB deadlines for optional attendance applications. The portfolio application requirements are:
- A one page letter of intent stating why art is important to the student and why they think our program is a good fit for them.
- 5-7 artworks (or photographs of 3D work) demonstrating emerging proficiency in a variety of media.
Be prepared to talk about your work and explain things such as:
- what inspired you to create it
- what it means
- how it challenged you
- what you are most proud of
- what you would change if you recreated it
We are looking for students who are passionate about art and want to learn. We believe we can teach you if you want to learn, and are committed to providing a program which thrives on equitable enrollment practices.