The visual arts program is solidly based on a respect and understanding of where children are creatively, what they require from their work, and the means to move them from one developmental stage to another as they become more expressive, inventive and perceptive. The program focuses on artistic creation as the central component throughout, with perceptual and reflective elements growing out of the students’ active involvement with materials and processes. Through expressive/creative experiences, students become familiar with such facets of artistic thinking as the ability to formulate problems and create multiple solutions, the ability to pursue a project over time, the willingness to solve problems inventively, the ability to take risks, and finally to reflect critically on one’s own work as well as the work of other cultures.
Directed art instruction begins in the Lower School, grades K-4. Students meet approximately twice a week for classes taught by a professional lower school art instructor. They are introduced to basic concepts as well as some art history. Middle School students, grades 5-8, meet multiple times a week to continue general art instruction. As students move to the Upper School, grade 9-12, courses become more specialized. For the uniquely talented artist, course offerings include AP levels such as Portfolio Art or Art as a Major.
SRDS boasts one of the most in-depth Digital Arts programs in the region, offering Graphic Arts to students beginning in grade 4 and up. From the inception in the Fall of 2011 to a complete renovation of the Graphic Arts Studio in the Fall of 2015, the program has expanded every year to now include courses for Upper Level Graphic Arts I, II, III and IV as students become more proficient in their skills and require further challenge. The program has gained national recognition from NAIS for the innovative way it teaches students how to present a clear visual message in a powerful way.
The Visual Arts department generates student exhibits throughout the year in the local communities and businesses. The year culminates in the SRDS Annual Art Show each Spring. Artwork and projects from all grade levels are on display for the well-attended event. Students also enjoy the benefit of special trips to NY City art museums and gallery shows. Visit our on-line Art Gallery to see some of our students' work!