Explore our Curriculum

Arts

The art program encourages students to discover a personal vision and to express themselves using multiple senses. Emphasizing experiential and hands- on learning, art courses encourage students to think creatively, to develop ideas, and to take risks in untried areas. Junior School art courses focus on introducing skills and building confidence within each of the dis- ciplines. In Middle and Senior School, the Department offers a wide variety of choices, enabling students to specialize or to experiment as they wish. In addition to course offerings, the Art Department encourages all students to participate in dramatic productions, concerts, and gallery exhibitions at Hopkins.

A minimum of 1½ credits in art is required for graduation.
Students must take at least ½ a credit in Grades 9 or 10 and ½ a credit in Grades 11 or 12.
 
  • Concert Band

    Grades 9–12. Full year plus required performances, 1 credit.

    This ensemble enables students who play orchestral or band instruments to study and rehearse an eclectic array of music covering many cultures and genres, while developing individual musical proficiency. Students focus on sound production and practice techniques to build confidence on their instrument and develop musicianship. The ensemble performs publicly at least twice per year. (All students must re-audition every year.)
  • Design Engineering

    Grades 10-12, Term II, ½ credit.
    Student may declare credit for Science or Art.

    Answering the call of twenty-first century research to recognize the powerful synergy between art and science, this multidisciplinary course is team-taught by teachers in both disciplines. Students explore the space where science and art overlap by working individually and collaboratively on a series of projects and research-based experiments. Equal time in the classroom, laboratory, and art studio enables students to learn the science, practice visualizations, and produce viable, creative, and whimsical solutions to scientific problems. Projects may include designing vehicles in which fluid dynamics serve as inspiration for beautiful line patterns and vice versa, creating structures that recognize the relationship of form and function in architecture, mapping the mathematics in nature, manipulating waveforms in the production of music and optical effects. This course counts as an academic course for determining course load. (Co-requisite: Precalculus A [Math 50] or higher)
  • Digital Photography (T2)

    Grades 9–12. Offered Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    Students learn the controls of a digital camera and techniques for improving images using Photoshop. By analyzing the formal and aesthetic properties of their own work as well as the work of accomplished photographers, students develop an ability to make intentional compositions that convey their unique way of seeing the world. Students must have a digital camera with manual aperture and shutter controls. Rental cameras are available.
  • Grade 7 - Instrumental Ensemble

    Students who wish to experience the rewards of ensemble playing will enjoy this art choice. The course introduces students to the skills and techniques of musical collaboration. Repertoire is chosen depending on instrumentation and the ability level of the group. The Grade 7 Instrumental Ensemble accommodates all instruments except drums, percussion, and electric guitar. (Audition is required.)
  • Grade 8 - Drama (T2)

    Offered Term 2.

    Students develop their imaginations through theater games and improvisations. They also analyze and perform classical and modern scripts.
  • Grade 8 - Studio Art (T2)

    Offered Term 2.

    This course is designed to help students attain a general knowledge of drawing and painting and working in clay. For homework, students keep a sketch diary to develop drawing as a form of self-expression parallel to language.
  • Grade 8 - Wood Art (T2)

    Offered in Term 2.

    In this course students learn the basics of cutting, shaping, carving, and joining wood using a variety of hand and power tools. Students begin by creating a low relief sculptural piece from a plank of wood. Later projects might include building boxes, small furniture pieces, and wooden toys.
  • Improvisation (T2)

    Grades 9–12. Offered Term II, ½ credit.

    Students use theater games and scenic improvisation to explore new ways of creating and portraying character, stories, and ideas. The students’ work culminates in the creation and presentation of a final performance piece.
  • Intermediate Photography (T2)

    Grades 9–12. Offered Term II, ½ credit.  Fee: $30

    During the first half of the course, students improve camera skills and advance their knowledge of Photoshop manipulations, including the use of Camera RAW, photomontaging, and blending modes. During the second half, students define a long-term photographic project in which they fine-tune their visual exploration of an idea through regular shooting, printing, and critiquing their work. Students must have a digital camera with manual aperture and shutter controls. Rental cameras are available. (Prerequisite: Digital Photography)
  • Pottery (T2)

    Grades 11 & 12. Offered Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    Students learn basic techniques of working with clay: hand-building, wheel-throwing, glazing and decorating. Exercises stimulate the imagination and response to the medium of clay. The course includes specific assignments as well as student-devised projects.
  • Roots of American Popular Music

    Grades 9–12. Term II, ½ credit.
    Offered every other year.
    Next offered in 2018–2019.

    What are the musical influences of your favorite band? Current music genres represent the coming together of many vibrant musical traditions. From rock to techno, jazz to hip-hop, the blues to country, zydeco to salsa, (and more). This course explores the multicultural nature of popular music in the United States. Students broaden their understanding of our musical heritage by listening to and discussing works with regard to rhythm, harmony, form, lyrics, and instrumentation.
  • Studio Art I (T2)

    Grades 9 & 10. Offered Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    The first quarter of this course is devoted to the development of essential drawing skills and techniques. As the term unfolds, students are introduced to the various elements of 2-D design, color theory and painting techniques, as well as ceramic sculpting and other three-dimensional work. (Recommended as a prerequisite for Studio Art II and the Advanced Studio Art Program.)
  • Woodworking (T2)

    Grades 9 & 10. Offered Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    This introductory woodworking course is suited to students who have not previously studied woodworking, and will challenge those who have. Students begin by learning the basics of joinery through the building of tool boxes and go on to design and build a piece of furniture of their choosing. Past projects include tables, chairs, and small cabinets. Students use any remaining time to complete a project of their own devising. Students gain extensive experience with a wide range of hand and power tools. The importance of precision is emphasized in every phase of a project.
  • Grade 7 - Arts

    During Grade 7, a different aspect of art—Studio Art, Drama, and either Instrumental Ensemble or Vocal Arts—is introduced during each of the first three quarters. The emphasis is on learning the basic crafts of each art form and having fun. Students choose to continue in one of these disciplines for the final quarter.

    The Grade 7 Instrumental Ensemble accommodates all instruments except drums, percussion, and electric guitar. Pianists may be offered a place in an ensemble of mixed instrumentation or in a piano workshop in which students learn ensemble skills using two and four-hand piano repertoire. Instrumental Ensemble requires a short audition to ensure that the student can read music and play an instrument at a level that enables learning from the ensemble experience.
  • Grade 8 - Drama (T1)

    Offered Term 1.

    Students develop their imaginations through theater games and improvisations. They also analyze and perform classical and modern scripts.
  • Grade 8 - Instrumental Ensemble

    Students who wish to experience the rewards of ensemble playing will enjoy this art choice. The course introduces students to the skills and techniques of musical collaboration. Repertoire is chosen depending on instrumentation and the ability level of the group. The Grade 8 Instrumental Ensemble accommodates all instruments except drums, percussion, and electric guitar. (Audition is required.)
  • Grade 8 - Studio Art (T1)

    Offered Term 1.

    This course is designed to help students attain a general knowledge of drawing and painting and working in clay. For homework, students keep a sketch diary to develop drawing as a form of self-expression parallel to language.
  • Grade 8 - Vocal Arts

    This course is for students with a keen interest in singing in two and three part harmony, in preparation for Concert Choir in the Middle School years. It also emphasizes vocal production, basic music theory and sight singing.
  • Grade 8 - Wood Art (T1)

    Offered Term 1.

    In this course students learn the basics of cutting, shaping, carving, and joining wood using a variety of hand and power tools. Students begin by creating a low relief sculptural piece from a plank of wood. Later projects might include building boxes, small furniture pieces, and wooden toys.
  • Theater Workshop (T1)

    Grades 9 & 10. Offered Term I & Term II, ½ credit.

    This workshop for students interested in all aspects of theater introduces basic performance techniques, investigates the process of play production, and explores technical aspects such as lighting and set construction. Students prepare scripted material and develop their own projects for performance. They gain practical experience by working on at least one main stage production.
  • Improvisation (T1)

    Grades 9–12. Offered Term 1, ½ credit.

    Students use theater games and scenic improvisation to explore new ways of creating and portraying character, stories, and ideas. The students’ work culminates in the creation and presentation of a final performance piece.
  • Acting

    Grades 10–12. Term I , ½ credit.

    Designed to offer students an opportunity to explore acting in a playful and supportive environment, this course introduces the techniques an actor uses when preparing a character. Through the use of theater exercises, monologues and scene study, students develop their focus and concentration, work on their vocal and physical technique, and open up their imaginations to the idea of playing a character.
  • Truth in Comedy (T1)

    Grades 11 & 12. Offered Term I & Term II, ½ credit.

    Building on recent trends in the development of comic material, this course offers students an opportunity to explore further the art of comedy. Students work on improvisation, comic timing, character foible, and scene building as they create and write their own sketch material. During class, students hone their skill with comedy and, through the use of video, develop individual story ideas into written scripts for performance. (Prerequisite: Acting, Improvisation, or Theater Workshop)
  • Public Speaking

    Grades 11 & 12. Term II , ½ credit.

    This course prepares students for the many situations in which they may be required to deliver public addresses. Students analyze styles of oration in the media as well as on campus for efficiency and clarity. Special attention is given to presenting a confident stance, coordinating gestures and to articulate diction. Possible projects include making announcements, introducing guests, delivering toasts, teaching lessons and presenting a formal speech in assembly.
  • Ensemble Theater

    Grades 9 & 10. Term I , ½ credit.

    Students participate as actors, crew, and designers of a drama production in which the ensemble is on stage during the entire performance. Through a series of vigorous group exercises and collaborative planning, the ensemble experience teaches students the strength and beauty that a coordinated group of actors can offer any performance. Class-time rehearsals and occasional supervised tech work assigned as “homework” culminate in two required performances at the end of the term.
  • Concert Choir

    Grades 9–12. Full year plus required performances, 1 credit.

    Concert Choir is a choral group in which the student is exposed to principles of theory, harmony, and music history and to concepts of balance, blend, phrasing, nuance and style through study and performance of fine choral repertoire. Sectional rehearsals are scheduled within normal class time. This course requires two major public performances each year.
  • Orchestra

    Grades 9–12. Full year plus required performances, 1 credit.

    This course is a performing group dedicated to exploring great works in the classical tradition. Most class time is devoted to rehearsal, but music theory and history enhance the study of the repertoire. The ensemble performs publicly at least twice per year. (All students must re-audition every year.)
  • Jazz/Rock Ensemble

    Grades 9–12. Full year plus required performances, 1 credit.

    This performance ensemble covers methods for learning rock and jazz charts, and develops improvisation technique. Students create a personal jazz/rock vocabulary, collaborate productively within an ensemble, and explore the art of improvisation using basic scales and chords. The ensemble performs publicly at least twice per year. (All students must re-audition every year.)
  • AP® Music Theory [Fundamentals]

    Grades 10–12. Term I, ½ credit.

    This course develops a broad vocabulary for describing and analyzing music. Students practice music notation and develop aural skills through singing and dictation exercises. Directed listening and composition assignments enhance the understanding of texture and form. Course requirements include regular homework assignments, tests, and a final composition project. Students who successfully complete both terms of AP Music Theory may consider registering for the Advanced Placement Examination in Music Theory. This course counts as an academic course for determining course load.

    *AP®, Advanced Placement®, and SAT® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.
  • AP® Music Theory [Advanced Topics]

    Grades 10–12. Term II, ½ credit.
    Offered every other year.
    Next offered in 2019–2020.

    This course provides a rigorous introduction to harmony and form in Western classical music in preparation for the Advanced Placement Examination in Music Theory. Students approach these topics through both analysis and composition. Composition assignments include species counterpoint and four-voice chorales. Students hone their aural skills through sight-singing and dictation exercises. This course counts as an academic course for determining course load. (Prerequisite: AP Music Theory [Fundamentals] or departmental approval)

    *AP®, Advanced Placement®, and SAT® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.
  • Digital Photography (T1)

    Grades 9–12. Offered Term I, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    Students learn the controls of a digital camera and techniques for improving images using Photoshop. By analyzing the formal and aesthetic properties of their own work as well as the work of accomplished photographers, students develop an ability to make intentional compositions that convey their unique way of seeing the world. Students must have a digital camera with manual aperture and shutter controls. Rental cameras are available.


  • Graphic Design (T1)

    Grades 9–12. Offered Term I & Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    This course introduces students to composition and the elements of design. Projects introduce students to traditional graphic design production techniques as well as computer-constructed graphics with an emphasis on process and aesthetics. Assignments range from abstract concepts such as color studies to applied work such as posters, t-shirt design, and books. (Prerequisite: Studio Art I or Digital Photography)
  • Web Design

    Grades 9–12. Term II, ½ credit.

    Students learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to produce websites that emphasize readability, good coding practices, efficiency, and creative design. Adobe Photoshop is used to prepare images for the web. Through a series
    of projects in which students work individually and collaboratively, they eventually build and publish a multi-page interactive site on a topic of their choosing.
  • Intermediate Photography (T1)

    Grades 9–12. Offered Term I, ½ credit.  Fee: $30

    During the first half of the course, students improve camera skills and advance their knowledge of Photoshop manipulations, including the use of Camera RAW, photomontaging, and blending modes. During the second half, students define a long-term photographic project in which they fine-tune their visual exploration of an idea through regular shooting, printing, and critiquing their work. Students must have a digital camera with manual aperture and shutter controls. Rental cameras are available. (Prerequisite: Digital Photography)
  • Advanced Photography

    Grades 10–12. Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    The course begins with photographic assignments and readings that explore contemporary social issues and styles of photography. Thereafter, the course is devoted to a long-term project that leads to a major piece or portfolio. Students must have a digital camera with manual aperture and shutter controls. Rental cameras are available. (Prerequisite: Intermediate Photography and departmental approval)
  • Fundamentals of Video Production

    Grades 9–12. Term I, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    Students learn the basic techniques of video production by planning, shooting and editing their own projects. Assignments focus on developing shot composition, visual storytelling and the use of the editing software Final Cut Express. Student work culminates in the production of a music video. Rental video cameras are available.
  • Advanced Video Production

    Grades 10–12. Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    Students hone the shooting and editing skills learned in Fundamentals of Video Production through the production of short videos. The curriculum is shaped to encourage students to develop their own ideas and discover how to communicate them through digital video. Students participate in critiques and class showings. Rental video cameras are available. (Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Video Production or departmental approval)
  • The American Film Experience

    Grades 11 & 12. Term I, ½ credit.

    Students view films of major American directors, including Ford, Hitchcock, Welles, Kubrick, Kazan, Scorsese and others, from the silent era to the present. Films highlight different genres including the gangster film, the western, the musical, film noir and the horror film. Emphasis is on evaluating cinematic technique in relation to plot.
  • Studio Art I (T1)

    Grades 9 & 10. Offered Term I, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    The first quarter of this course is devoted to the development of essential drawing skills and techniques. As the term unfolds, students are introduced to the various elements of 2-D design, color theory and painting techniques, as well as ceramic sculpting and other three-dimensional work. (Recommended as a prerequisite for Studio Art II and the Advanced Studio Art Program.)
  • Studio Art II

    Grades 9–11. Term II, 1/2 credit. Fee: $30

    This course builds on the foundation established in Studio Art I. Continued work in drawing leads to more complex explorations in painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Depiction of the human form serves as a unifying theme for the course. A homework sketchbook is required. (Prerequisite: Studio Art I or departmental approval)
  • Woodworking (T1)

    Grades 9 & 10. Offered Term I, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    This introductory woodworking course is suited to students who have not previously studied woodworking, and will challenge those who have. Students begin by learning the basics of joinery through the building of tool boxes and go on to design and build a piece of furniture of their choosing. Past projects include tables, chairs, and small cabinets. Students use any remaining time to complete a project of their own devising. Students gain extensive experience with a wide range of hand and power tools. The importance of precision is emphasized in every phase of a project.
  • Architecture

    Grades 9–12. Term I, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    Through sketching, model making, class discussion, and viewing images of architecture, students explore elements of architectural design, such as form and mass, site and context, scale and proportion, rhythm and composition, texture and pattern, detail and light. Students then undertake a more formal analysis of building and site by measuring, calculating, and drawing plans, sections, and elevations of a particular building. Finally, students work within given site restrictions and programming requirements to create individual design projects, which they present as drawings and 3-D models.
  • Furniture as Sculpture, Sculpture as Furniture

    Grades 10–12. Term II, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    This course introduces students to the basics of furniture making with an emphasis on conceiving of furniture as sculpture. Students learn essential woodworking techniques and joinery using hand and power tools. Wood is the primary medium, but students are also encouraged to utilize recycled materials, found objects, and other non-traditional elements. Projects include the construction of tables, chairs, and other standard furniture pieces, as well as the students’ own more purely sculptural designs. No previous woodworking experience is required.
  • Pottery (T1)

    Grades 11 & 12. Offered Term I, ½ credit. Fee: $30

    Students learn basic techniques of working with clay: hand-building, wheel-throwing, glazing and decorating. Exercises stimulate the imagination and response to the medium of clay. The course includes specific assignments as well as student-devised projects.
  • AP® Art History: A Global Perspective: Prehistory to 14th Century

    Grades 11 & 12. Term II, ½ credit.

    Students examine major forms of artistic expression from the Renaissance Era through the present in the Western world, with a parallel emphasis on non-Western cultures. Emphasis is on learning to see, evaluate, relate, and compare visual forms in architecture, sculpture, and painting. This course is a continuation of the Term I AP Art History course and completes a student’s preparation for the Advanced Placement Examination in Art History. However, students may take either course separately. This course counts as an academic course for determining course load.

    *AP®, Advanced Placement®, and SAT® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.
  • AP® Art History: A Global Perspective: 14th Century to 21st Century

    Grades 11 & 12. Term I, ½ credit.

    Students examine major forms of artistic expression from ancient times through the Gothic Era from a variety of cultures in the Western world, with a parallel emphasis on non-Western cultures. Emphasis is on learning to see, evaluate, relate, and compare visual forms in architecture, sculpture, and painting. This course counts as an academic course for determining course load.

    *AP®, Advanced Placement®, and SAT® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.
  • Fine Art Studio I

    Grades 10 & 11. Full year, 1 credit. Fee: $45

    This course provides intensive instruction in drawing skills and techniques. Later assignments put those drawing skills to use in the planning and design stages of painting and 3-D projects. (Prerequisite: Studio Art I and departmental approval)
     
  • Fine Art Studio II

    Grades 11 & 12. Full year, 1 credit. Fee: $45

    Students pursue advanced work in visual art with continued technical instruction and substantial emphasis on individual creativity. Projects may include 2-D design, illustration, painting in oils or acrylics, block and relief printmaking, ceramics, and large scale sculpture. Experimentation is encouraged to help students define areas of personal interest. Work is reviewed and evaluated through individual and group critiques. Keeping a sketchbook is required. (Prerequisite: Fine Art Studio I and departmental approval)
  • Fine Art Studio III

    Grade 12. Full year, 1 credit. Fee: $45

    Students begin the year focusing on the elements of drawing and painting using a variety of instruments. Subjects taken from real life include portraits, the figure, still-life, and landscape. During the second half of the course, students work on a concentrated area of their choosing and build a personal portfolio. (Prerequisite: Fine Art Studio II and departmental approval)

Our Faculty

  • Robert Smith

    Art Dept. Chair / Director of Instrumental Music
    203.397.1001 x796
    Florida State University - B.M.
    Florida State University - M.M.E.
  • Derek Byron

    Visual Art
    203.397.1001 x798
    Bucknell University - B.A.
    Rhode Island School of Design - M.Arch.
  • Michael Calderone

    Drama
    203.397.1001 x240
    Rutgers University - B.A.
    New York University - M.A.
  • Chris DeVona

    Art/Instrumental Music
    203.397.1001 x634
    University of Hartford / Hartt School - B.M.
    University of Hartford - B.S.
  • Hope Hartup

    Drama
    203.397.1001 x242
    Beloit College - B.A.
    Yale University - M.F.A.
  • Jacqueline LaBelle-Young

    Visual Art
    203.397.1001 x321
    University of Connecticut - B.F.A.
    Central Connecticut State University - M.F.A.
  • Jonathan Nast

    Arts Teacher
    203.397.1001 x624
    Gettysburg College - B.A.
    Southern CT State University - M.S.
  • R.C. Sayler

    Art/Visual
    203-397-1001 x603
    Rhode Island School of Design - M.F.A.
    Greenville College - B.A.
  • Erika Schroth

    Director of Choral Music
    203.397.1001 x731
    University of Michigan - M.M.
    Concordia College - B.M.
  • Peter Ziou

    Visual Art
    203.397.1001 x675
    Maryland Institute College of Arts - B.F.A.
    Yale University - M.F.A.