Visual Arts

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Drawing, Painting and Advanced Art

When entering the studios at the Upper School, one is first amazed by the facility, the actual spaces afforded to the students to work in.  While it is good to have physical spaces conducive to creating art, by no means is it the sole aspect that typifies the art classes at Holland Hall. Art at Holland Hall is synonymous with the individual’s freedom of expression and it is this focal point, helping a student learn to express himself or herself, that guides the approach in the drawing, painting and advanced art classes. Each student is introduced to basic fundamentals such as composition, line, value, etc. but the emphasis is placed upon the student’s aspirations and their unique viewing of the world around them.  Assignments are given to further a student's creative and critical thinking.


In the ceramics classes, students begin by learning a wide variety of techniques for manipulating clay. We cover techniques such as slab building, wheel-throwing, sculpting, press molds and more. We also experiment with firing techniques such as raku and pit firing. After the students are introduced to the basics, they are encouraged to work in an exploratory manner in areas of interest to them. They are encouraged to work in series of  pieces rather than one of a kind in order to develop an idea and become more technically proficient.  For students who continue into Advanced Art, they are encouraged to find their own area of interest and develop it into something that is meaningful and unique to each student.


The photography curriculum at Holland Hall School covers traditional photographic principles, including the use of the 35mm SLR camera and the wet-darkroom, the digital darkroom, and the studio. Students are exposed to the essentials of image making, and some of the fundamentals of the visual arts.

Acknowledging that human beings are naturally emotional creatures, whether captivated by a tune or a color, photography as a visual arts course is tailored to encourage students to explore, to understand, and to appreciate their emotions.

Assignments given tend to be non-traditional and self-directed in nature.   Lectures given tend to lean towards an exploration of aesthetic value and allow each student to approach a project at his or her own pace.