Academics

Visual & Performing Arts

In Drew’s Visual and Performing Arts departments, you’ll develop as an artist through authentic, engaging experiences. You will integrate theory and practice in each discipline as you utilize Drew’s supportive environment to experiment, collaborate and, ultimately, grow in your craft. By practicing making art, you will achieve mastery while developing your individual voice. Drew prepares you to then take the creative process and apply it to the arts and beyond.

You’ll make use of Drew’s dedicated studios for both visual and performing arts through traditional and digital media. You’ll also integrate the city as an extended lab for museum trips, artist visits, and working on location.

Graduation requirement: Two years of Visual and Performing Arts.

Visual & Performing Arts Curriculum

List of 21 items.

  • Drawing & Design

    • 9th-grade full-year course
    • This is one of three Visual & Performing Arts options for the 9th-grade year, though incoming students may audition for placement into an advanced ensemble.
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll develop your skills and express your ideas and observations in visual media as you become fluent in the basic elements of visual experience: light, value, contour, mass, texture, composition, and color.
  • Music Fundamentals

    • 9th-grade full-year course
    • This is one of three Visual & Performing Arts options for the 9th-grade year, though incoming students may audition for placement into an advanced ensemble.
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll develop music-reading skills and build upon any musical previous experience. You’ll hone rhythmic skills through percussion and drumming and build your pitch and music performance skills through voice, keyboard, guitar, and other instruments.
  • Theater Workshop

    • 9th-grade full-year course
    • This is one of three Visual & Performing Arts options for the 9th-grade year, though incoming students may audition for placement into an advanced ensemble.
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll explore the dramatic arts with an emphasis on basic acting technique through text work and improvisation. You’ll focus on imaginative play, proper vocal production, and physical acting in class exercises as you emphasize character development, text analysis, collaboration, and building self-confidence.
  • Digital Filmmaking

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll explore the history and major elements of the art form, developing your DSLR camera, workflow, digital editing, screenwriting and formatting, story structure, character development, acting, production, cinematography, and sound design skills through project assignments.
  • Advanced Drawing & Design

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll use design thinking processes and apply them to both commercial and fine art as you cover architecture, furniture design, and more. You’ll explore design issues such as user needs and empathy, prototyping, revision, and teamwork, and after a variety of teacher-directed projects, you’ll complete a self-directed project.
  • Graphic Design

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll be introduced to Adobe Creative Suite with an emphasis on graphic design including theory, practice, and technology, including principles of color, resolution, pixels, vectors, image enhancement, layout, visual organization, visual hierarchy, and typography.
  • Advanced Graphic Design

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You will continue to examine the elements of design, spatial relationships, typography and imagery as they apply to practical visual solutions for print and web applications.
  • Painting

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll explore form and content through the painting medium. You will tackle a series of challenges that develop your technical skills, then enjoy total freedom to develop your own iconography.
  • Advanced Painting

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll create a body of related work, write and revise an artist statement, conduct research, explore exhibition venues, and present your work to audiences in and outside the classroom.
  • Photography

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll explore the history of photography with a focus on personal expression and active observation as you discover the visual language of photographs and the themes and meanings they create.
  • Advanced Photography

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll nurture your creativity, expand your visual literacy, and build advanced skills in the photographic arts as you study the history of the medium and its elements, the language of poetic imagery, multiple genres and themes, and portfolio building.
  • Printmaking

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll explore a variety of media and techniques including linoleum, wood block, transfer techniques, and screen printing as you focus on process and technique.
  • Advanced Printmaking

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll gain in-depth studio experience to further your editioning skills and the complexity of your printmaking techniques, including multiple plate and color screen printing.
  • Advanced Studio Art

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    This class will help you prepare a portfolio for college entry. You’ll focus on technique and concept development through serious dialogue and critique.
  • Music Production

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll compose, notate, and create audio recordings using digital sound-synthesis and recording equipment. You will compile a portfolio of polished pieces.
  • Advanced Ensemble: Instrumental

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course requires an audition
    • This course may be repeated
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll arrange and perform advanced literature from a variety of idioms to include: classical, modern jazz, Dixieland, blues, swing, salsa, Afro-Cuban, rhythm & blues, rock, and hip-hop.
  • Advanced Ensemble: Vocal

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course requires an audition
    • This course may be repeated
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll focus on a wide array of musical genres, from classical to Broadway to modern popular, as you learn, rehearse, and perform solo and ensemble selections.
  • Advanced Music Production

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll develop more complex and polished compositions using acoustic and electronic sources and work in a variety of environments as you further develop microphone techniques, sampling, editing, mixing and mastering.
  • Advanced Theater Production

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll learn all matters of theatrical production except the acting in this behind-the-scenes course that covers stage lighting design, sound, some history of theater and terminology, stage management, and production.
  • Advanced Theater Workshop

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll expand your acting skills with further concentration on physical acting and voice and speech techniques, including dialects. You’ll delve into text analysis, character development, and improvisation.
  • AP Music Theory

    • 10th-, 11th-, or 12th-grade full-year academic elective
    • This course has one or more prerequisites
    • Two courses in Visual & Performing Arts are required for graduation
    You’ll deepen your awareness of harmonic, rhythmic, and textural elements in composing music of diverse styles and genres. You will cover much of the AP music curriculum in a project-based format, exploring voice-leading, chord-progressions, harmonizing melodies and basslines, and arranging music for different musical instruments.

List of 7 members.

  • Alexandra Blum 

    Visual Arts Department Chair
    415.430.3781
    Washington University - M.F.A.
    Cornell University - B.F.A.
    Year Appointed: 1998
  • James Garrison 

    Performing Arts Department Chair
    415.430.3780
    University of Massachuesetts - M.M.
    U.C. Santa Cruz - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 1999
  • Lisa Bostwick 

    Visual Arts Faculty
    415.430.3782
    San Francisco Art Institute - B.F.A.
    New College of California - M.A.
    Year Appointed: 1989
  • Jin Feiszli 

    Visual Arts Faculty
    415.430.3757
    Boston University - M.F.A
    Bard College - B.F.A
    Year Appointed: 2016
  • Lara Greene 

    Performing Arts Faculty
    415.430.3783
    Florida State University - M.M.
    University of California, Santa Cruz - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2010
  • Amelia Stewart 

    Performing Arts Faculty
    415.430.3776
    American Conservatory Theater - M.F.A.
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2015
  • Jason Whiton 

    Visual Arts Faculty
    415.430.3785
    Earlham College - B.A.
    Year Appointed: 2008

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