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Noble and Greenough School is a rigorous academic community dedicated to inspiring leadership for the public good. Through mentoring relationships, we motivate students to achieve their highest potential and to lead lives characterized by service to others.

Visual Arts

Academics, Visual Arts, Student Teacher Relationship

The visual arts program at Nobles emphasizes in equal parts skill development and creative, analytical thinking, with the recognition that both components are fundamental to the successful articulation of visual ideas. Whether exploring a new medium at an introductory level or pursuing a passion for a specific discipline at the AP level, students discover challenges that necessitate creative problem solving, build both confidence and proficiency, and prompt them to see themselves and their art in new ways.

One significant component of the visual arts program is the Foster Gallery, which showcases the work of emerging and established regional artists, provides a forum within the community for viewing, discussing and reflecting upon art, and acts as provocative and rich teaching space.

Graphic Design | Spring Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III

Graphic design is an opportunity for students to solve visual problems, and to acquire a broad skill set with software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and SketchUp. Students will explore basic visual principles and become comfortable with the tools necessary to produce a compelling product. Students will also work with clients both inside and outside the school to understand the challenging process of creating a successful design within the constraints of real world parameters.

Filmmaking | Spring Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV

This semester course offers students an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of digital filmmaking for a variety of applications from short documentary/journalistic works to more abstract/fine-art videos.   In an age where more and more content is consumed visually, the ability to tell a coherent and compelling story using video is no longer a specialized skill. It is a necessity.  Students will learn the basics of shooting high- definition video and stills with a DSLR, capturing audio with dedicated audio recorders and then combining this source material in FinalCut in an efficient and clearly defined narrative structure. Conversations regarding framing and light as well as outside contemporary content in the form of other short video work will form the foundation of how to approach telling a visual story. By the end of the semester, the goal of the class is to become proficient with both the technical side of the video production, and also the aesthetic and narrative components.

This class is recommended for application to The Nobleman Multimedia team.

 

Ceramics I | Fall or Spring
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV

An introduction to the potters' crafts of hand-building clay forms and throwing on the wheel, with an emphasis on functional vessels. Projects require students to explore a variety of artistic and technical solutions. Students will be expected to use free periods during the week to practice on the wheel and to complete projects that cannot be finished during class time.

 

Ceramics II | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III
Prerequisites: Ceramics I

Ceramics II builds upon concepts and training gained in Ceramics I, placing greater emphasis upon the promotion of individual expression via experimentation with both surface and form. Students will focus upon principles of design such as unity, rhythm, and balance. Group discussions and critiques will be an integral part of this course.

Advanced Placement (AP) Ceramics | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: I, II
Prerequisites: Ceramics I and Ceramics II or permission of the department

This full-year course follows the guidelines and goals set forth by the College Board for the 3D Design Portfolio. This course stresses understanding the principles of three-dimensional design, mastery of the manual skills of ceramics, creative problem solving, and developing the ability for critical analysis. Critiques provide an opportunity for communication and development of a visual language. Monthly group critiques enable the class to discover as a peer group how each student is developing as an artist and solving visual problems. Individual weekly critiques provide for one-on-one discussion of progression.

Advanced Projects in Ceramics | Spring Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II
Prerequisites: Ceramics II

Advanced Projects in Ceramics is an extension of the technical and aesthetic problem solving skills acquired in Ceramics II and AP Ceramics. This class allows for further investigation with the medium of clay, while also exploring new kilns and firing techniques including wood, raku and soda kilns.  Working with a wide range of ceramic artists, students will have the opportunity to fire multiple kilns here and at Harvard University, exploring the variety of surfaces and textures available as well as learning about the larger Boston ceramics community.

 
Drawing I | Fall or Spring
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of drawing. Students will learn to use the formal elements of design to describe their perceptions, with an emphasis on drawing from observation and expressive mark-making. Formal areas of study include the uses of line and contour, shape and composition, value, proportion, space, linear perspective, and color theory. Group discussions and critiques of weekly in-class and homework assignments are an integral part of this course, as are museum and gallery visits.

Drawing II | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III
Prerequisites: Drawing I or permission of the department

Students in Drawing II build upon skills acquired in Drawing I while developing the ability to think conceptually and critically about their work with increased risk-taking and independence.  As students experiment with new concepts, media, and techniques, they will assume more responsibility, reinventing assignments in ways that reflect a more personal form of investment. Group discussions and critiques will require that students demonstrate a working understanding of the vocabulary of design as well as an ability to analyze and discuss both their own progress and that of their peers. 

Painting Studio I | Fall or Spring
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV

Painting I serves as an introduction to basic elements and techniques of painting. Projects will focus on issues of fundamental concern to painters such as color, form, composition, space and individual expression. Class critiques and discussions are an integral part of the course, serving to foster the development of critical and analytic skills.To understand their work within a broader context, students will look at a variety of works from the history of painting and will participate in field trips to local galleries and museums. Working media will consist primarily of acrylic-based paint with the potential for explorations in watercolor and oils.

Painting Studio II | Full Year
Open to: I, II, III
Prerequisites: Painting I or permission of the department

This class builds upon the concepts learned in Painting I, placing greater emphasis upon the promotion of individual expression and personal content, the development of observational skills as well as the technical manipulation of the paint itself. Students will focus upon principles of design such as unity, rhythm, and balance and push their understanding of color theory in support of artistic claims. Group discussions and critiques will be an integral part of this course as will the exploration of other forms of paint media such as oils, gouache, and watercolor. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Drawing | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: I, II
Prerequisites: Drawing I and Drawing II or permission of the department

AP Drawing is a full-year studio course that enables highly motivated students to pursue college-level work through the development of a drawing portfolio. The course follows guidelines for the portfolio requirements set by the College Board. The portfolio represents the sustained investigation of a central theme and a fundamental understanding of the elements of design. Students complete weekly studio-based projects and homework assignments on rigorous deadlines, participate in all gallery and museum field experiences, and attend all AP critique sessions. The course culminates with a formal group exhibit in the Foster Gallery.

Photography I | Fall or Spring
Full Credit
Open to: I, II, III, IV

Students learn the basic technical and creative devices of making photographic imagery in this single-semester introduction to darkroom photography. This course emphasizes the fundamental techniques of exposing and processing film, working in a darkroom and learning to see the world through the lens of a camera. Students will study fundamental elements of design such as using light, composing space and examining line, texture and form. Weekly assignments demand that students photograph outside of class time. Critiques, discussion of images from both historical and contemporary photographers and lectures on camera technique also define this course. By the semester’s end, students will have a portfolio of images, often in book form. 

Photography II | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: Classes I, II, III
Prerequisites: Photography I

Photography II is a continuation of the technical and conceptual foundation formed in Photography I. This course challenges students to master their craft while developing a personal aesthetic. Photo II has both a darkroom and digital component, covering advanced printing techniques, medium and large format camera systems, memory and storage issues, white balance, software such as Adobe PhotoShop and Lightroom, and the challenge of photographing in color.  Class time is dedicated to in-depth discussions of historical and contemporary photographers, demonstrations and class critiques. This course stresses the descriptive and narrative potential of photography while introducing a wide range of technical skills that students may use to augment their personal vision.  Cross-media projects involving traditional cameras, digital negatives and alternative processes will be introduced and encouraged. Students will create a final portfolio of work demonstrating a breadth of knowledge in multiple medias while showcasing a coherent personal voice.

Advanced Placement (AP) Photo | Full Year
Full Credit
Open to: I, II
Prerequisites: Photo II or permission of the department

This year-long studio course enables highly motivated students to do college-level work. This course follows guidelines for the portfolio requirements which are graded in May by a College Board panel.  In AP Photo, students choose to work traditionally or digitally. Students pursue long-term individual projects under the guidance of the instructor. A mastery of basic photographic techniques is assumed for students taking this course. Advanced exposure and printing techniques challenge students to master the technical demands of the medium to express their ideas as clearly and powerfully as possible. This course demands significant dedication outside of class as meeting time is used mainly for demonstrations, critiques and lectures. 

Art History: Renaissance to the Enlightenment | Fall Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II

Visual images act as a lens through which students can understand the concerns of being human, regardless of time or culture. This course examines the ways in which historians, art historians, literary scholars and others have understood the cultural history of Europe and the New World from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. The study of history builds a framework through which students can analyze dynamic factors in the creation of individual pieces; the study of art itself provides a framework through which students can decode content and meaning. Students will learn a vocabulary of terms that will enable them to articulate how a specific piece of art reflects the concerns of a given culture in its material, subject matter and iconography. This course does not fulfill the Visual Arts requirement.

Art History: The Birth of the Modern | Spring Only
Full Credit
Open to: I, II

This course challenges students to understand the notion of modernism from the emergence of the avant-garde in the 19th century through its full flowering in the late 20th. After defining “Modern” art and “Modernism,” the course will examine major modern artists, artworks, concepts and the social, political, and intellectual contexts that shaped them. The course will focus on the relationship between development of intellectual and political ideas and the development of significant urban cultural centers in both Europe and America. Students will learn a vocabulary of terms that will enable them to articulate how a specific piece of art reflects the concerns of a given culture in its material, subject matter and iconography. This course does not fulfill the Visual Arts requirement.

 

Independent Study | Fall or Spring
Half Credit
Open to: I, II

An independent course in art may be elected only after completion of the most advanced level offered in the particular area of interest. A proposal, submitted at least three weeks prior to the course-selection deadline, will be reviewed for approval by the Department. No teacher may sponsor more than three students during a single semester, and a schedule of weekly conferences must be maintained in conjunction with the work of the course. The finished work of the study must be presented to the School in an exhibition, in a slide show, or as a paper. Courses in ceramics, painting, drawing, digital design and photography are offered.

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