Visual Arts

Our visual arts program develops our students’ talents and abilities at all levels. While they learn the fundamentals of art, explore the principles of design, and study the history of art, our visual artists learn to express themselves creatively. Student artwork is routinely entered in various local and regional art competitions and exhibited and celebrated throughout the school on an ongoing basis. When they’re not in the studio, our student artists access local museums, attend lectures by visiting artists, and tour exhibits in the Hance Family Gallery.

Lower School students painting

Lower School

Thinking creatively and having artistic perspective drives the experiences of our youngest artists in the studio. The Lower School art curriculum fosters curiosity about materials and process while providing a strong foundation in visual literacy. Our Lower School art teachers teach visual-thinking and creative problem-solving skills. Read more about their forward-thinking approach. Students are encouraged to develop their own artistic voice using a variety of materials such as oil pastels, paint, clay, and fibers, providing a creative outlet that is both joyful and challenging. 

Middle School student painting

Middle School

Our Middle School visual arts program is centered on the development and discovery of each student's artistic abilities within a variety of mediums. Art design principles are introduced, and design elements and principles are applied. Art history and art criticism are utilized as tools for learning and appreciating former and present day cultures within the U.S. and throughout the world. Read more about hos art is used as a basis for creative thinking, problem solving, and decision-making.

Upper School

Upper School visual arts students cultivate an appreciation of the arts through classes that include drawing, painting, printmaking, and mixed media; 3-D design including traditional black and white photography, digital photography, computer graphics, animation, and film making; and exploration of sculpture through the mediums of clay, plaster, wood, glass, metal, and mixed media. A variety of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) art classes are also offered. Student works are entered in the National Scholastic Competition, the National Congressional Arts Competition, and the Matthews Art Fest Competition. In addition, students exhibit their works in local art galleries, including the Mint Museum of Art.

Upper School students work in the ceramics studio

Ceramics/3-D Studio

Our Ceramics/3-D Studio provides ample space and tools for our students to create three dimenionsal art in glass, clay, wood, metal, and mixed mediums.

In my 30 years of teaching adolescents about art, I know firsthand that our approach, which focuses on teaching children how to think more deeply and more critically for themselves, will help them in the future as they learn to become even more adaptable in their ever-changing world.

Mike Hennessey, Upper School Visual Arts Teacher