The visual arts department develops the individual’s capacity for seeing and responding to the world with a sense of wonder and discernment.
In our classes, art instruction honors personal voice while addressing developmental needs. Students develop a repertoire of skills and a body of knowledge about art. In cultivating artistic behaviors, they gain confidence investigating and giving artistic form to ideas, thoughts and feelings. They learn that growth as an artist requires commitment and integrity. Thus, students discover value in art and learn to see value in the expressions of others.
Students grow as artists by practicing the Studio Habits of Mind: how to observe; develop craft; envision; express; stretch and explore; engage and persist; reflect; and understand arts communities from around the world.
Lower School children are passionate, inquisitive learners. Our Lower School arts program channels children’s natural curiosity and boundless energy into artistic expression of their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
The program offers young artists ample opportunity to make creative decisions, collaborate with peers, exercise their imaginations, consider diverse historical and cultural imagery, and reflect on what they discover and learn. Experimentation and work with authentic tools and materials supports the development of artistic skills. Students follow their interests and ideas while gaining a sense of purpose and confidence. Drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and design, and fiber arts are central to the arts curriculum in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5. Our approach supports the development of independence, choice, and collaboration.
The emergence of self and formation of individual points of view are central to the Middle School experience; Middle School art classes support adolescent artists through exposure to and experimentation with a variety of artistic modes, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional art-making. The Middle School art program balances the development of skills with intellectually challenging and engaging experiences.
All sixth and seventh grade students take one semester of visual art in both their sixth and seventh grade years. Additionally, all eighth grade students participate in our eighth grade arts elective program, with elective course offerings in visual art, theater music, and movement, among other topics. For a listing of past eighth grade arts electives, please visit our Middle School Program of Studies.
Successful work in the Upper School visual arts program is accessible to anyone who engages the curriculum with focus and energy.
The department takes advantage of expanding cognitive development to present challenging concepts, artistic modes of thinking and refined technical skills for constructing images of experience or solutions to visual problems across a range of 2-D and 3-D course offerings. Depth of study is supported as students move toward proficiency; skill development, emotional sensitivity, and conceptual sophistication form the core components of the creative process at this level.