Visual Arts

The visual arts program at St. Andrew's seeks to foster an understanding and appreciation of drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, and film, while also encouraging students to discover and pursue interests in any or all of these art forms, and to develop personally as adventurous, expressive, and creative individuals. Our visual arts courses provide both formal training and instruction in the theoretical, historical and cultural background of each discipline. This intensive training and instruction, combined with close contact with established faculty artists who are continually pursuing their own artistic practices, allows the student grow in their artistic understanding, creative capabilities, and tendency toward free expression. Our master-apprentice teaching model for the visual arts allows our students to gain a strong sense of the arts as a means for investigating and celebrating the world in which they live.

An additional fee may be charged for visual arts classes to help defray the cost of materials.

Read more about the individual visual arts disciplines offered at St. Andrew's on the Arts section of our website.

Visual Arts Department News

Arts Requirement

Students are required to participate in a curricular or co-curricular aspect of the arts program before graduation. Incoming III Form students are required to take Introduction to the Arts.


Visual Arts Courses

Studio Art

Foundations in Visual Art

Open to all forms

semester-long half-credit elective

Developing a foundation in art and design entails building an awareness of contemporary art-making practices, as well as a working knowledge of the history of visual artmaking. The Foundations in Visual Arts course is designed to introduce students to the materials, techniques, language, concepts and processes of making, using, and thinking about art. The course aims to keep a healthy tension and balance between formal concepts, hands-on skills, imagination, and critical thinking. Students will be introduced to fundamental elements of visual language through a variety of exercises, discussions, and lectures about content and form of the major visual arts genres. Informal group critiques of works made both in and out of class will take place on a regular basis.  

Art History

Open to IV, V, VI Form students

Semester-long half-credit elective

This course will take students through the process of exploring the subject, style, and significance of art and architecture of various world cultures. Students will draw from a variety of text and video resources to understand and appreciate the historical forces that gave rise to the astonishing richness of the structures and iconography that mark out particular historical eras. Students will design visual presentations and sketchbooks that seek to compare a given work with examples from other cultures and time periods, thereby widening the breadth of their investigations. 

Drawing 1

open to IV, V, VI Form students

semester-Long Half-credit elective

Students in this course work with a variety of media to create a visual language for describing natural form. Using charcoal, conte, and pastel, students render still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits with the goal of creating strong representational images.

Drawing 2

open to IV, V, VI Form students

Prerequisite: Drawing 1 or instructor permission

semester-long, half-credit elective

Students work with a variety of media that will build upon skills that were previously acquired in Drawing 1. The language of value and form will continue to be explored with tools such as colored pastels, India ink, and charcoal. Students will then begin to pursue assignments of their own choosing, looking to construct their own visual ideas as they assemble a portfolio of images. 

Painting 1

open to IV, V, VI Form students

semester-long Half-credit Elective

In Painting 1, students work on on still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits, and in doing so learn how to use color as a means for describing light and form.

Painting 2

open to IV, V, VI Form students

Prerequisite: Painting 1 or instructor permission

semester-long, half-credit elective

Students will work through a series of assignments that explore composition, color, brushwork, and value range. The ultimate goal of Painting 2 is for students to develop and pursue their own independent ideas in a portfolio of original images. Gouache, watercolor, and oil paint will all be options for medium as students develop their own artistic voice.  

Printmaking

open to IV, V, VI Form students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT Elective

PREREQUISITE: PHOTO 1 or Drawing 1

The medium of printmaking provides an arena of creativity where photography, drawing, collage, and painting collide. Through an examination of etching, relief, and screenprinting, students will have the opportunity to create a portfolio of prints that showcases each of these areas. By its nature, Printmaking is a communal activity that relies on each person playing a different role in the print studio. In this way, each print becomes a collaboration between the participants, with every student supporting the other.

Advanced Study in Drawing & Painting

open to VI Form students

Prerequisite: Drawing 2 or Painting 2

Yearlong course

This yearlong course is an intensive studio class designed for VI Form students interested in investigating advanced methods and concepts central to the visual arts. Students concentrate on hands-on studio work with individual faculty in one of the visual arts disciplines (painting, ceramics, photography, or film), and come together for lectures and discussions of contemporary issues in art, practical demonstrations, such as portfolio development, and critiques. Coordinated, thematic assignments stimulate comparative discussions among visual art disciplines as in an advanced fine arts seminar.

Photography and Film Studies

Film Studies 1: Intro to Film

open to all Forms

Semester-Long Half-credit elective

Introduction to Film is for students who want to experience the creative process of filmmaking. The basic elements and grammar of film are explored including light, color, composition, and editing. Students will complete a series of editorial exercises and produce a collection of short films using digital filmmaking techniques. While this course serves as a foundation in the cinematographic and editorial skills required to create a film, it also uncovers the narrative ingredients required to create engaging cinematic stories. Early cinema, current blockbusters, documentaries, and commercials are viewed for inspiration and historical value. Student projects are given ample time in class for shooting and editing.

Film Studies 2: Intermediate Filmmaking Techniques

open to IV, V, VI Form students

Semester-Long Half-Credit Elective

Prerequisite: Film Studies 1 or instructor permission

The Film Studies 2 course follows the curriculum begun in Film Studies 1 and provides a deeper exploration of screenwriting and story structure, cinematography, lighting and sound. Students work on four or five larger projects as individuals and in teams as they further explore the technical and artistic aspects of creating for the moving picture. Students will work with more advanced cameras, lenses, and sound equipment and spend seven to eight weeks developing a script of an original story.

Advanced Study in Film

Open to VI Form students

Prerequisite: Film Studies 1

Yearlong course

The Advanced Study in Film course is a year-long intensive studio class designed for VI Form students interested in developing advanced filmmaking, writing, and editing techniques. Students work on several large projects from conception to finish and utilize advanced lighting and sound equipment as well as a more developed editing and color grading process. Other major projects may involve exploratory video essays on film and the development of an original feature-length script.

Photography 1

open to IV, V, VI Form students

Semester-Long Half-credit elective

This course allows students to explore the expressive qualities of black-and-white photography while learning both the fundamentals of image-making with a 35mm manual camera, and the functions of a black-and-white wet darkroom. Students hone their photographic voice in an open critique setting and learn to edit their work by compiling a comprehensive final portfolio. They are introduced to medium-format film and have the opportunity to experiment with a Holga camera. A study of historical and contemporary photography complements practical exercise and work in the darkroom. No prior experience is required, but access to a 35mm camera with manual exposure capability is necessary.

Darkroom/Wet Lab

open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Semester-Long Half-Credit Elective

Prerequisite: Photo 1

This course explores all aspects of traditional wet-lab photography. We will learn about, and experiment with, small, medium, and large format film cameras. Students will learn how to work with the wide variety of chemicals involved in the creation of analog photographic materials, and discover how many contemporary artists are reinventing the past and finding inspiration in these beautiful techniques . Most importantly, student will walk away with a portfolio of beautiful, unique prints from a wide array of fine art photographic processes.

Advanced Lighting

open to V & VI Form students

SEMESTER-LONG HALF-CREDIT Elective

PREREQUISITE: PHOTO 1

Understanding light is undeniably the most important skill that a photographer can possess. In fact, many photographers believe that light IS the subject of every photograph. This course will guide students through all aspect of lighting, from natural/available, to studio, to location shoots where artificial and natural light come together. We will explore how to modify, shape, and balance lighting of all kinds in order to achieve whatever look we want, in any situation.

Advanced Study in Photography

open to VI Form students

Two semesters of a Photo class, one of which must be photo 1

Yearlong course

This yearlong course is an intensive studio art (in this case, photography) class designed for VI Form students interested in investigating advanced methods and concepts central to the visual arts. Students concentrate on hands-on studio work with individual faculty in one of the visual arts disciplines (painting, photography, sculpture, or film), and come together for lectures and discussions of contemporary issues in art, practical demonstrations, such as portfolio development, and critiques. Coordinated, thematic assignments stimulate comparative discussions among visual art disciplines as in an advanced collegiate fine arts seminar.