Courses are offered in drawing, painting, ceramics and an advanced studio course for seniors who are interested in building a portfolio of ambitious, original work. Student exhibitions run three times a year in the Warner Gallery and are rotated during the year throughout the O’Brien Arts Center. Four visiting artist exhibitions per year are also presented in the Warner Gallery, giving professional examples of the various disciplines we offer our students.
In each fine arts discipline we teach, students are introduced to the core elements of the given language, and guided through a series of exercises that ensure them a basic fluency. We believe that any student can achieve this modest goal, regardless of prior experience or natural facility. Once our students have developed a familiarity with the building blocks of a visual art form, they are encouraged to embrace the process of gaining technical mastery, and to risk experimentation that might take them outside of their comfort zones. Each course is designed to offer progressively more challenging projects, with room for individual interpretation, so that both the beginning and experienced artist will find a tempo that both suits and challenges them.
Art History is also a key component to our studio arts’ curriculum. Whether students are creating ceramic vessels inspired by Native American traditions, oil paintings that are interpretative copies of French Impressionists’ work or drawings inspired by famous twentieth century photography, they are constantly looking at images from different cultures and learning about the historical context from which they emerged.