Visual Arts

Artistic risk-taking that fosters confidence and poise.

Our students become makers — as well as stronger, deeper thinkers — when they load a brush with paint or throw pottery on a wheel and their artistic risk-taking fosters confidence and poise that pays dividends in our classrooms and throughout a brave, bold life. All while they gain an unmatched understanding of what it means to be part of the universal human experience.

Drawing, Painting, and Advanced Art

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. as emphasis is placed upon the student’s aspirations and 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 — techniques such as slab building, wheel-throwing, sculpting, press molds and more. They 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 tend to lean towards an exploration of aesthetic value and allow each student to approach a project at his or her own pace.