Visual & Performing Arts

While all of our middle school students participate in an exploratory program in Studio Art, Ceramics, and Performing Arts, our Upper School students have the opportunity to explore diverse specialized offerings through dynamic courses led by practicing artists. Our Visual Arts students have regular opportunities to show their work, whether in our on-campus gallery (The Solarium at Houghton Hall) or other local galleries.

At the end of each trimester, our Performing Arts students share their projects, their voices, and their scenes with the entire Knox Community. These end-of-trimester recitals are the highlights of our curricular program in Performing Arts here at Knox. Students with an interest in applying their performing skills to theatrical production have the opportunity to join Knox Theatre. Click here for more information about our outstanding theatre program.

Visual Arts Courses

Studio Art I is a full-year course in which the students examine major concepts of studio art. They begin with drawing then move on to explore painting, printmaking, and various other media of their choice. While learning and improving their technical skills, they will also be learning the concepts of line, spatial relationships, and creative expression. Students will progress from the cornerstone of art (drawing) through to printmaking.

Studio Art II is a full-year course in which the students will continue to develop their skills gained in Studio Art I and move on to generating pieces that reflect their personal creative style. Possible media include acrylic, watercolor, and tempera painting, as well as printmaking, quilling, batiking, and collaging.

Ceramics is a full-year course designed to develop the students' interest and skills in the creation of ceramic arts, including the artistic process from conception to firing. Students will also discover major artists and explore how their work influenced the history of ceramic arts.

Media Arts I is a full-year introductory course that focuses on the practical operation and creative possibilities of digital photography and video using a Digital SLR. This course explores digital capture, computer editing using Adobe Photoshop, and output techniques utilizing professional Epson printers. Students should have a digital camera with manual capabilities which will shoot stills and video.

Introduction to Photography is a one-term course learning the basics of photography as a fine arts medium. The focus of this course will be on black & white 35mm film shooting, developing, and printing. This course will emphasize the technical aspects of photography through demonstration, readings, and hands-on experience. Open to Upper School students with an interest in photography.

Photography I is a full-year introduction to photography as a fine arts medium. The focus of this course will be on black & white 35mm film shooting, developing, and printing. This course will emphasize the technical aspects of photography through demonstration, readings, and hands-on experience.

Photography II is a full-year course that focuses on advanced mechanics and aesthetics of photography. Students will be shooting black & white film with a 35mm single lens reflex camera as well as using a digital SLR. The students will work on their proficiency skills in exploring new darkroom techniques and experimenting with new photographic papers and processes. In the digital darkroom, the students will learn more in-depth digital imaging skills and output techniques.

Performing Arts Courses

Choir is a full-year course designed to develop students' understanding of the art of vocal performance, particularly as a choir. Students in this course will explore vocal music from various periods, styles, and cultures, and develop an understanding of the original social and cultural context for each piece of music studied. Students will develop their ability to sight-sing, building on a strong foundation in music theory, through study of solfege. Students will also develop confidence in their skills through regular performances at school events and at each trimester recital.

Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory is a full-year course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement exam in Music Theory. Students will challenge themselves to develop a keen awareness of musical techniques present in significant works of the major musical periods and genres. Ear training will be an integral part of the course. Students will be required to be active, engaged participants in the learning process.

Theatre is a full-year course designed to develop students' understanding of the various arts involved in the creation and production of theatre. Students in this course will explore various crafts associated with the arts of acting, playwriting, designing, and directing. Students will also develop their understanding of the business of theatre and the variety of jobs available to those who have a passion for theatre and theatrical production. Students will present work at each trimester recital.

Stagecraft is a full-year course designed to introduce students to the theatrical arts associated with the technical elements of production, including scenic, costume, and lighting design; set construction and painting; lighting hanging, focusing, and gelling; and costume construction and alteration. Students will learn to create scenographic models, ground plans, and front elevations. Students will provide all technical support for Knox Theatre productions and will serve as technicians when appropriate for school events.

Dance is a full-year course where students are involved in studying, practicing, creating, and observing a variety of dance styles, especially ballet, jazz, and tap. Students will develop their coordination, flexibility, dexterity, and self-discipline through active participation in movement exercises and combinations. Students are expected to dress in the required clothing and shoes. Performance at each trimester recital is required.

Department Events

Click here to read more about our student photography exhibition at fotofoto Gallery in Huntington Village, New York.

Our Faculty

Patrick Barry

Patrick Barry

Titles: Chair, Visual and Performing Arts Department, Manager, Wm. Turner Shoemaker Theater
Karyn Cernera-Bush

Karyn Cernera-Bush

Titles: Director of Marketing & Communications, Teacher
Patricia Colombraro

Patricia Colombraro

Titles: Photography & Media Arts Teacher, Solarium Art Gallery Curator
Grace Fastenberg

Grace Fastenberg

Titles: Studio Art & Ceramics Teacher