Visual Arts

Middle School

Student sketching figures from life.

 The middle school visual arts courses teach a broad range of skills and knowledge with creative exploration and expression. The sixth-grade course focuses on understanding the processes and development of art and culture through history. Seventh-grade students develop skills in many types of media and learn to process visual information through careful observation and understanding of the elements of art. Eighth-grade students develop a more personal approach to art-making as they explore the “why" of artmaking and the “what.” Acknowledging that we all have a story to tell and something to say, students explore social issues in art, collaborative projects, and self-expression learning new techniques and practicing skills they have been introduced to in previous years.



Upper School

The upper school art curriculum allows students to explore their chosen discipline in-depth. Starting in ninth grade, students may choose their arts course from Drawing & Painting, Photography, and Design for Publication. Drawing and Painting students gain mastery and further refine their artistic vision as they explore various techniques, media, genres, and subject matter.  Traditional and contemporary media emphasize the creative process with concept development, research, artmaking, revision, and assessment.   Photography classes provide a broad base for exploration and an introduction to the historical and contemporary applications of the art. Introductory students learn the fundamentals of the single-lens reflex camera, film development, and darkroom use, while advanced photography students combine traditional methodology with the digital world.  In design, students learn the techniques and methods used in the professional graphic design market while exploring their creative use of the art.


Additionally, students work to produce the school’s yearbook and literary magazine, developing their design layouts with journalistic writing and photography. 

 Exploring abstraction composition with mixed media!

The department offers three AP classes for highly motivated art students: AP Drawing, AP 2D Design, and AP Art History.


Spring Arts Exhibition and Community Arts Show

The arts program culminates with an all-school arts exhibition in the spring. All students are involved and can experience the curating and opening of a gallery art show, complete with lighting, music, and refreshments.   It is an instructive experience for the students, parents, and guests and a time for us to share our talents with the community. We partner with a local nonprofit gallery each year for a themed art exhibit curated by our Arts Diploma students.