Visual Arts

This class will focus on learning how to use the potter’s wheel. Students will learn how to center clay, explore various forms, trim cups and bowls, and add handles to make mugs, and glaze plates and vases. Students will also have the opportunity to explore various firing techniques and finishes. While learning these new skills students will also focus on pairing techniques while discovering their personal aesthetic with the material. Research of both historical and contemporary ceramics will enrich and inform students working visual vocabulary. Weekly sketchbook assignments are given that further examine concepts presented in class.

Prerequisites: Studio Art and Ceramics I

In this intermediate to advanced level course, students will design and execute original furniture in wood. Students are encouraged to apply personal interests and aesthetic while considering the basic requirements of a furniture form, such as a table. A basic understanding of the process of working with wood is required.

Prerequisites: Furniture Design (or similar prior experience and permission of instructor).

This class is designed to guide students through the process of preparing an art portfolio for entrance to BFA programs and liberal arts colleges that accept portfolios. Students will choose colleges, create some impressive, original drawings, have their work photographed, and consult with various art admissions personnel to create the most effective presentation of their work. They will view various presentations by different art programs and apply to their choice of schools by the end of the semester.

Prerequisites: Three art classes or prior experience and permission of instructor.

Animation is a course designed to introduce students to the basics of stop motion animation and understand the inner workings of how all animation functions. Students will be watching examples of animated films that use the 3 different forms we will be working with and then will create short animated films with our 3 major stop-motion disciplines: Cutout, Clay, and Puppet. Students will write thoughtful analytical essays about animated films that we watch in class and have the opportunity to write more about animated films watched outside of class. Students participate in class exercises and experimentation. Their final project will be to choose a discipline of animation and create a complete short film to explore it more fully.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

Description on its way!

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

This is an introductory course in working with clay as an artistic medium. Students will learn various hand-building techniques used to make both functional ware and ceramic sculpture, in addition to basic wheel-throwing skills. Students are encouraged to explore personal interests and aesthetic through the assignments. Projects assigned will require productive use of in-class time and possibly additional time in the studio after class. Inspiration and art historical exploration will require some research and analysis, and students will give presentations and maintain an active sketchbook. Come prepared to play.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

NOTE: This class is a prerequisite to all advanced ceramics classes. The Fall course will be taught by the the 2015-16 Artist in Residence.

This course is designed to help students develop their perceptual and rendering skills through sketching and drawing. Assignments will build upon each other as students grow in their perception of edges, spaces, relationships, and lights and shadows. A final project will explore contemporary drawing and develop a new definition of drawing. Students are required to keep a sketchbook for weekly, take-home assignments. Each student is expected to participate fully, challenge him/herself, apply his/her best effort, and have fun!

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

NOTE: his class is a prerequisite to all Painting classes.

Experimental Photography will introduce students to alternative methods and techniques to express themselves via photographic media. The course will focus on learning the science behind image formation and capture on light sensitive materials and will use these principles to create artwork via traditional and non-traditional photographic processes. Students will use the photographic techniques discussed to reinforce their study of the elements and principles of art and design. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to: Pinhole cameras, their design, construction, and use as a lensless camera medium; the anthotype process where plant pigments are used as light sensitive materials; investigation of photogram techniques to introduce modern photographic paper; contact printing from digitally or traditionally produced internegative and interpositive images for the use in alternative printing processes; the use of traditional camera systems to capture non-traditional light sources (lasers, light painting, stroboscopic photography). Course is cross-listed with Science. The student must choose and officially declare to the Director of Studies in the first week of the class the department in which to receive credit.

This course is open to juniors and seniors with prior art experience. No camera is required for this course.

In Form and Design, students will explore the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, learning how to incorporate these principles into their artwork. Through researching both historical and contemporary artist’s approaches, student will create works that reflect an investigation of materials and consideration towards installation methods. Projects (to name a few) will include creating sculptures with everyday materials, repurposing found objects into altered books, using natural materials to construct temporary art works, and exploring printmaking processes. Each student is expected to participate fully, challenge him/herself, and apply his/her best effort.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

Furniture Design is an introductory course in working with wood as an artistic medium. Students choose one of three Shaker-inspired furniture pieces to plan and execute in a local hardwood of their choice. The class provides an introduction into the use of both power and hand tools essential to woodworking and several basic techniques of construction and joinery. Skills gained include drawing, planning, shaping and finishing. Students are expected to apply a high level of craftsmanship to their projects.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

Note: This class is a prerequisite to Advanced Furniture Design.

Graphic Design is a one-semester course that explores the use of typography, illustration, photography, digital manipulation, color theory, and design theory to create effective online and print based visual communications. This course’s objective will be to teach students the effective use of messages and graphic products rooted in sustainability, environmental protection, social equity, cultural vitality and economic well-being. Projects may include the design of web pages, motion graphics, digital presentations, digital prints, advertisements, advertisement packaging, as well as other media for emerging technology, and will be evaluated through individual and group critiques. This course will be taught in the Joline’s Macintosh Design Lab and will use Adobe software as well as other online web tools. Students will need to complete homework and projects using these computers or software. No additional equipment will be required, although a digital camera may be helpful. A lab fee will be assessed for digital printing costs.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

Options include and are not limited to Darkroom Photography, Digital Photography, Art History, Video Production, and Printmaking. Students interested in other media or art-related topics are encouraged to consult with the Art Department Chair.

This course will explore the world of digital photography. Students will learn how to take control of their digital cameras, manage their workflow, and be introduced to the amazing powers of Photoshop. Students will learn how the digital camera works and how to use the controls on their cameras to capture images with intention. Assignments will require productive use of in-class time and additional time in the studio after class. Inspiration and exploration of contemporary digital photographers will require some research, analysis, and presentation. A digital SLR camera required.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or equivalent art experience

This course will explore the modes in which we encounter and create the spaces around us. How do I interact with and am affected by my surroundings each day? How can I use the materials from the spaces around me to create meaningful works of art and give voice to my own experience? How do I interpret and incorporate history and memory into physical forms that express my own thoughts and feelings artistically? Students will work with various media, including plants, drawing, mapping and 3D models/sculpture to document and explore their daily experiences at Darrow. Students will spend time exploring and documenting the architecture, landscape and history of the campus while integrating their own personal narratives and expressions in various projects that will culminate in the creation of a proposal for a site-specific monument on the campus. Working individually and collaboratively, students will use the objects, forms and rituals found in their everyday lives to create works that illustrate how they move and exist within a space. This course will consist of activities with organic material, short readings, writings and art making.

In Painting, students will be introduced to both watercolors and acrylics. The first half of the semester will be devoted to understanding and exploring watercolor as each assignment builds off the next, investigating the potential of this medium. The second half of the semester will be spent painting with acrylics on canvas. There will be a balance of in-class assignments along with students selecting their own images to depict and render. Research of both historical applications as well as contemporary approaches will be part of this course as students discover their personal aesthetic with the material. Concepts presented in class will be further explored through weekly sketchbook assignments.

Prerequisites: Drawing

This course will focus on the creation of printed matter. Students will learn the process of creating books and zines, from both a formal and conceptual perspective. Assignments will focus on giving students basic understanding and skill and then allowing them space to explore narrative and content production. We will be creating books/zines using traditional methods as well as from found materials and materials the students will make from the natural resources around the school. The class will also take field trips to local artisan studios to see the experience first-hand.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or Equivalent Art Experience.

Printmaking will introduce students to a variety of tools, techniques and methods that will yield in an understanding of the printmaking process. Wood cuts, linoleum, mono-printing, and silk screening methods will be explored as a means of investigating imagery and texture, while generating both one-of-a kind and multiple prints. Through research on historical and contemporary applications of this medium, students will explore traditional and nontraditional methods and modes of creating and printing. Discussion and application of color theory will guide students in the ability to choose and mix colors for various layers and effects.

Prerequisites: Studio Art or Equivalent Art Experience.

Studio Artis an introductory art course offered in both the fall and spring semesters and is a prerequisite to all other art electives. Students have the opportunity to explore Drawing, Painting, Photography, Ceramics and Graphic Design. With each new medium students will explore and incorporate the Elements and Principles of Art & Design into their artworks. This course emphasizes process as means to liberate students from preconceived notions of inability or lack of skills necessary to create. Students will learn how to craft an artist’s statement, develop research and presentation skills, and study both historical and contemporary art practices. This class may be waived for students with previous art experience. Students will be requested to meet with the Art Department Faculty and present a portfolio of their artwork.

Studio Art is a prerequisite for all other Visual Arts courses. The requirement can be waived only with a demonstration of prior experience and a conversation with the Department Chair.

This course provides an in-depth look at topics in art and architecture from the last eight hundred years in the history of art and architecture to be decided in part based on student interests. As students learn about art from around the world, they develop a visual vocabulary enabling them to describe, analyze and appreciate works and structures within their historical context, as well as to draw comparisons within and across cultures and time periods. Emphasis is placed on understanding the creative process and the roles artists play within their historical contexts, especially as movers and shakers of culture, social movements, and politics. Students demonstrate learning and mastery through a variety of assignments, including participation in discussion both in class and online, short essays, hands-on projects, presentations, e-labs and collaborations.

What creativity means at Darrow

It means connecting imagination to action. It means learning the technical aspects of creative expression. And it means taking risks and taking responsibility. Darrow School’s modern, dedicated facilities for visual and performing arts enable students to develop their creative potential in many disciplines. Traditional areas of study are taught through an active curriculum that emphasizes experimentation, discussion, project development, and interaction with the environment.

See how the right creative environment makes anything possible.

Darrow students in action

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