On Campus

Electives expand art program

The Upper School (US) will offer seven new advanced art programs next year to provide artistic opportunities for upperclassmen whose schedules don’t allow for the more time-consuming art classes, Art Department Head Laura Tangusso said.

The new classes, which will only last one or two trimesters each, are: Advanced Design and Architecture, Advanced Film and Video, Advanced Ceramics II, Advanced Painting and Drawing II, Advanced Woodworking II, Honors Level Photography, Visual Design, Communication and Social Media. In order to enroll in these advanced courses, students must have previously taken classes related to the art medium, as the new courses will enhance and expand on the current arts offerings.

“We hope that seniors who are passionate about the arts will feel less pressured at that point so may enjoy the opportunity to take more art before graduating,” Ms. Tangusso said.

All seven of the courses—except for Honors Level Photography, Visual Design, and Communication and Social Media—will run from the fall trimester to the winter trimester, meeting during the same times and in the same classrooms as the standard classes but following different curricula. Because the size of the advanced classes will be limited and the curricula of the classes will be largely independent, teachers should be able to manage them, Ms. Tangusso said.

The other two courses will also meet four times a week, but as independent classes. Photography will run from the fall trimester to the winter, while the Social Media course will run only in the winter. Ms. Patel said she thought her course was important in an age when people are “posting constantly.”

“We use social media a lot,” she added. “So it becomes important to understand how we communicate and what we communicate online.”

Advanced courses that rely on “higher level skills” already exist for woodworking and ceramics, Woodworking Teacher Paul Ruhlmann said. The new courses will offer similar opportunities for students offered in different media.

“We have a lot more freedom with our design process and are able to take more risks with designing our pieces,” Advanced Woodworking student Ellie Clapp ’17 said.

Advanced Ceramics student Mason Olmsted ’17 said he would prefer the full-year course even if he had the option to take a shorter one.

“I could not take art and have a free block, but then in those 45 minutes a day I’d be stressing about academic work,” Mason said. “Ceramics for me is a real separation from all of that stress.”

Gautam Mitra ’17, a former Woodworking student, said he would have taken a senior Woodworking course if it had begun in the winter.

“I just didn’t have time to do woodworking again with school work and college apps, but I feel like I have had so much free time since January,” he said.

Georgina Steel ’17, who took Ceramics her junior year but not this year, said having these new courses would be “really good.”

“I felt like my schedule was super busy last year and everything was going to get a little more intense with the college process, so I decided I would not do it and then do it again during SSP,” she said. “I would definitely have taken this new course, though.”

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