2024 Awards

2024 Michelangelo Buonarroti Award for Excellence in Art – Christian C. Payne

The Mission

The Curley Visual Art Program’s mission is consistent with our school’s mission to develop great men, and specifically seeks to develop great artists by:

  • Engendering students with 21st century skills through the creation of original art through various traditional and contemporary media;
  • Fostering an appreciation and understanding of all aspects of art, it’s creation, display and discourse as it benefits both the artist and society;
  • Serving Curley and the greater community by sharing the God given talents, gifts and visions of our student artists to promote our values and beliefs in a manner consistent with the school’s mission.

Our program welcomes students of all experience levels. New students need only possess an interest in Art that they can expect to grow into a passion. Our program is college preparatory and many students have established esteemed professional careers from the humble beginnings of our foundation classes.

A Short History

Formal Art courses came to Curley in 1992 with retired Baltimore County Public School teacher, Mr. William (Bill) Roth. A graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Mr. Roth taught Art at Patapsco High School for 30 years before using his extensive knowledge of Art and Photography to draft a fresh curriculum for Curley. Building upon this strong arts tradition, a newly constructed, state of the art Fine Arts wing, The Holthaus Center, was dedicated in 2010. Course offerings grew to include digital art courses, and AP Art was introduced in 2015 under the direction of current Visual Arts instructor Mr. Mark D. Halcott ’97. Curley is constantly refining our Visual Arts program to reflect the skills and perspectives necessary for success in the 21st century.


The Visual Arts program at Archbishop Curley High School offers the following courses for the student interested in art.

Art Seminar
Design and Composition
Fine Arts Photography
AP Art 2-Dimensional Design and Drawing

The required Art Seminar is designed to improve visual literacy. The elements of art and the principles of design will be introduced. The roots of Western Art will be explored, touching upon ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Approximately one third of the course time will be utilized for the creation of original art projects based upon the principles learned. Woven throughout the appreciation, history and project sections will be the quest for the answer to the enigmatic question “Why does man create?”

The principles of design serve as guidelines for the use and arrangement of the elements of art in the sophomore year. The object of the Design and Composition elective is to develop a working knowledge of the elements of art: color, value, line, texture, shape, form and space and the principles of composition: balance, gradation, variety and contrast, repetition and rhythm, emphasis and unity. Progress will be measured, for the most part, by producing visual works which demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles.

The materials, techniques and subject matter of photography will be explored in the Fine Arts Photography elective. Working in both black and white as well as color, and analog as well as digital, students will explore topics including light science and the dark room, composition, digital editing, and presentation.

The AP Art 2-Dimensional Design and Drawing elective will be customized for each student to meet their needs, whether they are portfolio problems or just personal interests. The course of study will be worked out on a one-on-one basis with specific quarterly goals and reviews. A student may, for example, elect to work in paint media for the entire year, while another student may want to do creative techniques on the MacIntosh. Each will be accommodated

Honors & Awards

The Michelangelo Buonarroti Art Award is awarded to a graduating senior of exceptional talent, who has completed at least two years of study in the art department. The student must have consistently demonstrated artistic development, outstanding achievement, and enhancement of the school and community through his artistic abilities. The award is presented at the Baccalaureate Mass.