MCPS Visual Art Center Program Description



The Visual Art Center (VAC) is a nationally recognized county-wide advanced art “special program.”


The VAC was established by the Montgomery County School Board nearly forty years ago and is located at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, Maryland.

The primary goal of this “portfolio development program”is to provide an intensive honors level curriculum in visual art with a strong foundation in classical drawing and painting techniques and contemporary two dimensional design processes.

The VAC offers a comprehensive, rigorous, advanced studio art curriculum with an emphasis on “portfolio development” that helps students realize and achieve their full potential in the field of visual art. In their time at the VAC, students develop a broader understanding of the fields of fine and commercial arts and gain some perspective on potential careers in the visual arts.

 Studies at the VAC include drawing, painting, applied graphic art, computer graphics, printmaking, sculpture, and architectural design.

Lessons consist of lectures, demonstrations, visual presentations, studio activities, assigned research, group critiques, artists and gallery visits. Students will have the opportunity to become a part of an active art community of peers as they learn and develop their own individual artistic voice in a broad range of media.

In addition, VAC students have the opportunity to participate in the “National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts; Young Arts,” “National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards,” “NAACP- ACT-SO,” “Congressional High School Art Competition” and many local art competitions.

VAC students usually complete one or more College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art, Drawing, 2-D, and 3-D portfolio exams.

Most VAC graduates go on to study fine art or related fields at many prestigious art colleges, liberal arts colleges and university art programs.

Over the last twelve years, VAC students have won many national and local awards for their portfolios and as a group have garnered over $20 million dollars in scholarship and grant offers.


The VAC is an M.C.P.S. “Application Program.” Qualifying Montgomery County high school students may attend the Visual Art Center any semester and during the summer.

There are three daily sessions between 7:25 AM and 2:10 PM.

There are two double period morning sessions (Course #6492-Semester 1 & 6493 Semester 2)

and a triple period afternoon session (Course #6490- Semester 1 & 6591 Semester 2.)

The Visual Art Center program is designed to meet the needs of talented students. Although the students will be part of a group, classes are small enough for individualized instruction.


Activities include:


· demonstrations, seminars, and lectures

· concentrated study and work in a variety of mediums

· field study and observations

· group and individual critiques and exhibitions

· college and career counseling

· Advanced Placement exams and scholarship competitions

· College presentations and portfolio reviews


MCPS Visual Art Center Faculty, Mygenet Harris and Jane Walsh

For More Information: NEW Albert Einstein HS#: 240-740-2700 (VAC Extension 1080) 


Mission Statement


The Visual Art Center provides a rigorous fine arts program designed as an advanced level art curriculum directed toward portfolio development for students pursuing a career in the visual arts.


Visual Art Center Goals


  • Provide an advanced level curriculum in the visual arts with an emphasis on two-dimensional processes with a strong foundation in design, art history and aesthetics. 
  • Help students realize and achieve their full potential as young artists and to prepare them for careers in the visual arts.
  • Assist students in their pursuit of future college fine art education through portfolio development and scholarship competition.


This page is maintained by the Visual Art Center's Web Team
Click here to log in