Visual Arts

Ceramics, Beginners (Burns) (grades 8-12)
This class teaches the basics of clay work. Students learn the six stages of clay as well as wedging, glazing, and firing of clay. They make the most basic and earliest of clay forms:  the pinchpot. The pinchpots of Paulus Berensohn are used as inspiration. The coil pots of the Anasazi Indians are the models for making coil projects.  Students learn to use the extruder and slab roller, and are assigned slab work and the proper way to attach clay parts. Using the wheel, students will learn and practice making cylinders and bowls.  They will practice making multiples of mugs and bowls. Additional skills taught include making handles, trimming, and proper glazing techniques.

Ceramics, Advanced (Burns) (grades 9-12)
With some mastery of the basic hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques under their belts, students will continue to practice and improve their artwork. Sgraffito, slipwork, and bas relief as well as other decorating techniques are added to the students’ repertoire. They will make matching mugs and bowls and attempt to make larger pieces such as vases and pitchers on the wheel. Lids and spouts will be demonstrated and the final project for advanced students will be to make a fully functioning teapot. Covered casserole dishes will be assigned. The work of various potters such as Hamada, Brother Thomas, and Maria and Tony Clennell will be used as inspiration.  Raku firing outdoors is done in the Fall and Spring. 


Creative Writing (Manchester)
In this elective, students become editors of the school’s literary magazine, Resonance. Throughout the year we consider poetry and prose, written by students, faculty, and staff.  The Resonance staff members read each submission together and make editorial suggestions.  At the end of the year, the written submissions, along with student artwork, are compiled to create the magazine.  Resonance is printed at the end of the third term and distributed to the school community on Recognition Day.  


Drawing, Intro to (Nelson)
This course, designed for students with little or no formal training in drawing, will focus on the traditional techniques of draftsmanship.  Projects include working with graphite, charcoal, pastels, and colored pencils.  Emphasis is on the process of making art rather than on the final product; students will push their boundaries and work outside of their comfort zones. 

Drawing, Advanced (Nelson) (grades 9-12; prerequisite “Intro”)
Students will utilize the toolkit of skills acquired in Introduction to Drawing, including scaling & proportion, linear perspective, how to create a dynamic composition, and value, and learn how to create work that goes beyond technical mastery. Materials include charcoal, colored pencil, prismacolor markers, ink, graphite, and pastels. Students have the opportunity to do figure drawing and portraiture from a live model. Emphasis is equally on the process of making work and the finished product.


Painting, Intro to (Nelson) (grades 8-12)
Beginning Painting is designed for students with experience in drawing techniques. As this class is devoted to observational painting, students work from life in most assignments and exercises. The emphasis is on process, not product. Exercises in class include under-painting, value studies, color theory via color mixing, and painting from a still life. Basic fundamentals of drawing will be incorporated into the general lessons of the year, including how to develop a dynamic composition using entry and exit points, linear perspective and scaling and proportion. At the end of the year, students have a firm grasp of various techniques in acrylic painting, knowledge of supplies, and the ability to instigate their own painterly investigations. 

Painting, Advanced (Nelson) (grades 9-12; prerequisite “Intro”)
This course is designed for advanced students who have taken an introductory course in both drawing and in painting. Using the toolkit of technical skills acquired in the introductory, students are able to explore abstract ideas and modes of communication via paint. At the start of each project, the teacher presents a brief history of the topic and introduces artists who have explored similar themes, both formally (the way in which the work was completed) and conceptually (the ideas within the work). Students are required to conduct independent research with each topic in order to enrich their understanding as well as to add depth to the final painting. There will be equal emphasis on exploring the process of making work and on the finished product. 


Photography, Intro to (Moffat)
Through the lens of a 35mm camera, Introduction to Photography offers students a new way to see and control light. They learn how to use a camera, develop film, and print in the darkroom. Projects include: the camera obscura, various shooting assignments on and off campus, and exposure to other photographers, both contemporary and historical. Students build on technique and vision. In-school 35mm loaner cameras are available.

Photography, Intermediate (Moffat) (prerequisite: “Intro”)
With a knowledge of camera basics, Intermediate Photography students complete assignments designed to build on vision and technique. Both traditional darkroom and digital projects using Adobe Photoshop will be covered. Students have the option to work in one or both mediums. Projects include challenges in seeing in new and unique ways; book binding; and shooting nature, sports, fashion, reportage, commercial, and environmental portraiture. Students will choose a photographer to research, create a slideshow, and present to the class.

Photography, Advanced (Moffat) (grades 9-12) (prerequisite: “Intermediate”)
Given their acquired base of Intro and Intermediate Photography classes, students are able to take their work to the next level. They’ll develop a personal vision and experiment with technique, make slideshow presentations of historical and contemporary photographers, create a solo-exhibition in the gallery, try alternative darkroom techniques, learn how to critique the photographic image, and create a final video project. Students can choose between darkroom and digital photography. The Advanced Fine Arts Trip to major Boston museums and galleries takes place each fall.


Studio Arts, Intro to (Nelson)
This beginner’s course is designed for students with little or no experience in art. Students have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of 2-D and 3-D media throughout the year with a focus on understanding the historical techniques of art making. This class is devoted to developing observational skills; all of the assignments and exercises work from life. Many of the assignments are focused on developing hand/eye coordination and critical observation. Students learn to see with their eyes and not with their mind or memory. The emphasis of this course is on the process of making work, not on the finished product. Projects that could be considered failures are just as important as the successful ones!


Woodworking (Leveque) (grades 9-12)
Through a series of independent projects, students will learn how to safely work with a variety of hand and power tools to construct projects that they design.


Yearbook (Knowles)
In the Yearbook elective, students produce the annual yearbook publication (Mainsail) as a pictorial history of campus activities and memorable events for the current school year. They are required to create page layouts, take photographs, and write brief descriptions of events.  They also learn how to use Jostens Yearbook Avenue, an online yearbook system, to upload photos and edit yearbook pages