The walls of the painting studios are covered with portraits, still-lifes, and landscapes. Some were created this year; many are the work of alumni/ae, and have hung on the walls for years. By carefully honing traditional skills and developing the capacity to observe, our art teachers show our students that there’s an artist in each of us.
Students begin study under the tutelage of master artists, by doing a study of their work, or in a style from one of the major art movements of western art. Eventually students begin to contemplate developing a style of their own, through discovering that their greatest teacher is within. In this process, they develop the courage to fail and learn to see the world in an artistic way, pondering what is successful and what is not successful in how they are expressing their vision.
First-years are required to take Art 9, in which they explore light and shadow, the contour line, observational perspective, the basics of the human face, and calligraphy. Upperclassmen are offered a variety of electives in which they are encouraged to explore mediums such as pastel, oil pastel, scratchboard, pen and ink, and watercolor. Being able to talk about the meaning of art, and to experience and articulate more refined artistic perceptions, are frontiers eleventh and twelfth graders are challenged to explore.
Many students gather their best work into portfolios. There are two kinds of portfolios, an extensive one to get into a competitive art college, or a supplemental one to carry with them in their future as a token of being a well rounded individual.