Visual Arts

It was during my AP portfolio class at Kent Place that I first learned to step out into the world as an artist with a clear purpose.

Art-making is about so much more than putting paint on canvas, and my experience at KPS taught me to value all of the influences that inspire me and use them to create art. What I appreciate most about my time as a KPS art student is that I was challenged to write and think about art, to consider it within a larger social context, and to use it as a tool to help me understand the world. -Kyla McMillan '07, an arts communications specialist whose clients include art museums, galleries and fairs
Our students bring incredible energy and imagination to the art studios in Upper, Middle and Primary Schools.
We work across a variety of media, combining the traditional with the innovative. From architecture to digital photography to 3D Design/Sculpture and AP Portfolio, our extensive array of visual arts classes and electives reflect a wide range of artistic approaches. Our students have exhibited their work in professional galleries, including our own Kent Place Gallery on campus.

Primary School Experiences

List of 5 items.

  • Grade 1 Art

    First-grade artists experience the joy of self-expression by exploring the question, "What do artists do?" Using a variety of media, students learn to plan work, foster ideas, and observe the world around them for inspiration.
  • Grade 2 Art

    In second grade, art students study the basic behaviors that lead to artistic expression while continuing to create in a variety of media. Hands-on experiences allow children to develop studio habits for finding ideas, planning work, observing and researching subject matter, and sustaining engagement. 
  • Grade 3 Art

    Third-grade art students begin to take on increasing responsibility for directing their own creative projects. Personal sketchbooks are used to help students envision, plan, and execute creations in a variety of media and subject matter. Students examine what fuels their creative stamina and analyze how personal meaning infuses their creations.
  • Grade 4 Art

    In fourth grade, students continue to record ideas, plan future projects, and complete observation studies in their personal sketchbooks. The children are asked to reflect more deeply on the artistic process and begin to recognize the roll an artistic community plays in supporting individual creative pursuits.
  • Grade 5 Art

    In fifth grade, students build independence in making and observing art. As students create, they practice and develop strategies for finding ideas, planning work, observing and researching, sustaining interest, and finding meaning in and evaluating their own finished products. The children are encouraged to use their artistic community of peers, teachers, and artists to inform their work.

Middle School Experiences

List of 3 items.

  • Grade 6 Art

    All sixth-grade students take a year-long art course that introduces them to the tools for creating, communicating, and understanding visual communication. The students are exposed to a variety of artistic approaches in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and digital image making.
  • Art of Choice

    Seventh- and eighth-grade students expand upon their visual knowledge through trimester-long courses where they refine their skills in traditional media while introducing them to digital media software. Students continue to develop skills in using visual arts as a form of communication and personal expression.
  • Art Electives

    Seventh- and eighth-grade students especially interested in the visual arts may take electives to supplement their learning. Electives include courses on bookmaking, portraiture, and sculpture.

Upper School Experiences

List of 6 items.

  • Visual Arts Workshop

    This Grade 9 course explores creative thinking and art making through a variety of media and techniques. Instruction in drawing is stressed as a skill that informs other modes of expression but instruction in painting, printmaking, sculpture, and digital approaches to image making are also included. Students learn about art movements and individual artists that tie to and support their classroom projects. Students are encouraged to experiment and explore the creative thought process and design thinking.
  • Studio Art

    This advanced course provides a breadth of studio art experiences. Students explore possibilities of visual expression in a range of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media, and digital approaches. Students develop creative, analytical, and introspective thinking through reference to important historical and contemporary art. Field trips provide first-hand experience and inspiration. 
  • Portfolio

    This intensive studio art course is offered to juniors and seniors who want a college-level art experience. The focus of this class is working toward compiling an AP Portfolio submission for the College Board. It is strongly recommended that students interested in submitting a portfolio take this class in both their junior and senior years. Students create a body of two-dimensional or three-dimensional artworks, working through a series of guided projects in Portfolio in the first year, toward the development of a personal area of sustained investigation in the second year.
  • AP Portfolio

    Offered to seniors in the Portfolio class, students produce a significant amount of finished work from their personal area of sustained investigation. Fifteen pieces are chosen for submission to the College Board for AP Portfolio. 
  • Art History

    In this advanced course, students will gain an understanding and enjoyment of art and architecture from throughout history and from a variety of world cultures. Emphasis is placed on understanding art in the context of history, geography, politics, religion, and culture. Students look at art critically, towards developing a discerning, sensitive eye for its aesthetic and cultural messages. The visual insights developed through this analysis help students to understand the past. These insights offer vital clues to understanding the cultural challenges of the present and future.
  • Art Electives

    Interested students can enhance their knowledge of the visual arts through electives. Offered in subject matter such as ceramics, photography, film, 2D visual design, architecture, and ethics, students can supplement their learning on the portfolio track or learn a new medium within the visual arts.

Departmental Techniques

Two-dimensional Design Printmaking
Three-dimensional Design Photography
Drawing Digital Design
Mixed Media/Collage Architectural Design
Painting Film-making
Color Theory Art History
Sculpture Fiber Arts
Ceramics Critique
Study of Contemporary Art Bookmaking
Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.