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

(494) Media Arts
This full-year introductory course 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. Open to Upper School students with an interest in photography.

(516) Photography I
This course serves as a full-year introduction to photography as a fine arts medium with a focus on black & white 35mm film shooting, developing, and printing. This course emphasizes the technical aspects of photography through demonstration, readings, and hands-on experience. Open to Upper School students with an interest in photography.

(490) Media Arts II
This course combines the skills learned in Photo I and Media arts and moves students to the advanced mechanics and aesthetics of digital and 35 mm photography digital imaging skills and output techniques. Open to the Upper School students who have successfully passed Photography I and/or Media Arts.

(509) Studio Art I
This course allows students to examine the 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. Open to Upper School students with an interest in painting or drawing.

(495) Studio Art II
Studio Art II allows students to continue to develop the 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. Open to Upper School students with an interest in painting or drawing who have completed Studio Art I.

(565) Ceramics
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. Open to Upper School students with an interest in ceramics.

(498) AP Studio Art
This course is meant for students who need to develop a portfolio for acceptance to competitive art schools or who are interested in a rigorous and focused study in art. Students will develop a quality portfolio that demonstrates mastery of concept, composition and execution in 2-D design, and will be submitted to the College Board for credit.

Visual Communications
This course contains an overview of tools and techniques used to convey messages, sell products, and promote awareness, through visual means. Students will apply foundation graphic design principles to digital image-making applications, digital illustration, and layout design, using industry-standard graphic design software. Students will also utilize the 5-Phase design process (discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation, and evolution), which puts design thinking into action. Students will apply ideas from a variety of sources, including art/design theory, history, and more, in an effort to provide a deeper understanding of images in contemporary culture.


Performing Arts Courses

(570) Choir
This course is designed to develop students' understanding of the art of vocal performance, particularly as a choir. Students in this course 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. They work to develop their ability to sight-sing, building on a strong foundation in music theory, through the study of solfege. Students also build confidence in their skills through regular performances at school events and at each trimester recital. Students also attend two local concerts featuring major choral repertoires. Open to Upper School students with an interest in singing and the ability to match pitch

(525) Acting and Performance
This course will focus on improvisational, movement based work to create original, student devised pieces. This will help prepare students for later work in the course which will consist of scripted monologues, two person scenes, and/or other short performances of previously scripted material. Students will create performance pieces and engage in constructive discussions where they will critique their own work as well as the work of their peers. Students will be able to adapt improvisations and movement exercises into original pieces and then apply these performance skills to future work with scripted plays, scenes, and monologues.

(572) Stagecraft and Production Design
This course will focus on the production elements behind performance. Students will focus on a play or musical (depending on the production schedule for the school) and create a directorial concept for that particular show. Students will explore basic elements of production regarding a play’s set, lighting, costume, and sound design. Students will elect to focus on a specific area of design and develop a plan that supports their directorial concept for the specific show.

(573) Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory
This 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. Open to Upper School students in grades 11 and 12 who sing and/or play an instrument; placement at the discretion of the Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department.

Multimedia Production
This course will focus on how performance styles differ when using various modes of multimedia platforms (film, vlogs, podcast, etc.). Students will create multimedia projects from both previously scripted and original, student written pieces and then be able to use editing platforms (such as Adobe Premiere, Audition, Final Cut) and online distribution platforms (YouTube, Vimeo) to showcase their material.

Department Events

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



Our Faculty

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