Art Program (Specialized)




Specialized Art Program

@ the Central Tech Art Centre


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. Students in our program will develop fundamental skills across a wide range of different media, learning to produce various kinds of art concurrently rather than favouring one medium over another. Instruction is delivered in a manner that balances the development of technical skills with the introduction of conceptual ideas. This style of learning helps to develop a well rounded skill set and maximizes your creative growth. All of our Visual Art instructors have extensive postsecondary training in their area of instruction and/or significant industry experience in their respective fields.

In senior years, special emphasis is placed on the production of a portfolio, sketchbook and statements of intent, to aid admission to studio-based undergraduate art and design programs.


The facilities in the Central Tech Art Centre are unmatched in Canada. This gives us the resources to pursue a great number of projects with our students.

Equipment includes:

  • Ceramics studio equipped with 10 potter’s wheels
  • Drawing and painting studios (all equipped with north-facing skylights) for traditional skill development such as life-drawing, still-life rendering, perspective, as well as more contemporary creative approaches
  • Photography studio with darkroom for traditional film processing and printing
  • Printmaking studio with lithography and etching presses, screen printing, and an industry standard ventilation system
  • Sculpture studio (one of the largest in Toronto) with areas for life modeling, casting, carving, as well as a fabrication pit for construction and welding
  • Bronze foundry (the only one in a secondary school in Canada)
  • Computer lab (dedicated for visual art students) fully equipped with large scale colour printers, 3D printer, and upgraded computers that are designed for digital animation, photography, and video editing
  • Kiln room (largest in TDSB)

Guest Artists

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 students 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.




The secondary Specialized Art 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 permission of the Assistant Curriculum Leader of Arts. 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 - AWM1OP (Drawing and Painting) & AWT1OP (Non-Traditional Art): In grade nine, students focus on fundamental skill 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 - AWP2OP (Drawing and Painting) & AWT2OP (Non-Traditional Art), AWP3MP & AWT3MP, AWP4MP & AWT4MP: 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. 

Art Electives

Grade 9-12, AVI1O1, AVI12O1, AVI3M1, AVI4M1

AVI courses explore fundamental visual arts skills such as the elements and principles, 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!

Additional Art Electives (offered in Gr 11 & 12)

  • Ceramics (Pottery)
  • Digital Media
  • Drawing and Painting  
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

Additional Course Offerings at CTS

There are a wide variety of creative course offerings outside of the Visual Arts program at Central Technical School, including Architecture, Drama, Fashion, Music, Photography/Digital Communications, Robotics, Welding, and more!

Arts & Culture Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)

This program is new to CTS and all students in the Specialized Art Program are encouraged to enroll in their grade 11 year. The Arts & Culture SHSM involves the following:

  • Bundle of 4 major Arts & Culture credits in any combination senior Drama, Music, and Visual Art courses
  • 2 Cooperative Education credits in an Arts field
  • 2 elective courses: one English, and one Business or History
  • Arts sector-specific field trips and workshops
  • Industry certifications and training programs
  • SHSM graduates receive a Red Seal on their diploma, which is recognized by some post-secondary school with bursaries and awards

Admissions and Applications

Students must submit a Central Student Interest Program Application. More information about the application can be found here. Please visit the Arts Central student interest program website for more details.


Please contact if you have any questions about applying to the Specialized Art program at Central Tech.