The Lower School visual art program is an important stepping-stone in a child’s educational journey. Our youngest students learn to recognize and employ line, shape, color, texture, value, space and form to create contrast and patterns. We view these early years as a time for each student to develop the persistence and confidence necessary to experiment and to believe in themselves as artists.
The concepts established in Pre-First are reinforced throughout our cumulative and comprehensive art program. By fifth grade, students have grasped additional concepts, such as unity, rhythm, movement, pattern, emphasis, variety, harmony and balance. ActivBoards and other new media allow students to explore and interact with artists and masterpieces, both past and present. As art history is woven through the curriculum, students better understand techniques and mediums.
Middle School students take visual art courses that balance traditional methods of creating two- and three-dimensional compositions and explore more contemporary, challenging approaches to understanding abstract, modern art. At all levels, students learn to question very specifically what qualities make a work of art.
All sixth and seventh graders take a nine-week visual art course as part of their Discovery rotation. Seventh- and eighth-grade students who want to pursue visual art in more depth may take yearlong studio classes, which incorporate art history and field trips to local exhibits into the curriculum. Students also explore photography, videography, computer programming and robotics through elective media arts courses.
From freshman year to senior year, Upper School students may choose from a variety of specialized studio classes that promote the development of aesthetic and perceptual skills. These courses include advanced art studio, AP art history, ceramics sculpture, digital illustration, drawing, video production, painting, photography, sculpture and stagecraft.
Taught by an outstanding group of faculty artists, the basic curriculum of each class includes the history of the discipline, creative use of materials and pertinent vocabulary. Students are encouraged to take risks as they seek original, interpretive responses to complex assignments.
The work of Pace artists is exhibited on campus and is often seen at exhibits of photography, ceramics and sculpture around the city. Dedicated junior and senior artists may pursue independent studies in a specific medium with a faculty member of their choosing.