The Nightingale visual arts program incorporates numerous disciplines including painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, digital imaging, woodworking, printing, stone-carving, puppetry, assemblage, collage, sculpture, jewelry making, video, and animation.
In addition to studio production, students develop visual literacy through the study of works of art in the classroom and in New York City museums and cultural institutions.
Students learn to use different materials, processes, and techniques in order to express their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. These explorations lead to meaningful connections to their personal interests and experiences, and foster creative responses to new ideas. Inventive work with art materials is accompanied by direct observation of works of art and design. Through the study of works of art, the development of art vocabulary, and the application of new techniques, students learn to produce and interpret visual imagery with confidence and fluency.
The Middle School offers courses in 2D art, 3D art, photography, museum studies, ceramics, video, and Art for Social Change. In Classes V and VI, the school year is divided into trimesters as students rotate through three different art courses; students in Classes VII and VIII rotate through two different semester-long art courses. In each course students learn new technical processes while working with a wide range of materials. Their assignments are designed to increase observational skills, encourage innovative thinking, recognize intuition, and develop a sense of what is visually thought-provoking. In addition to the art-making process, students study works of art in the classroom and at various nearby museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Jewish Museum.
Throughout the Upper School art program there is an emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, and visual literacy. Upper School students can take studio classes in all media, from darkroom photography and digital imaging to life drawing and studio ceramics, as well as multiple levels of art history. Upper School art students build upon the fundamentals they learned throughout Lower and Middle School by mastering technical skills and exploring processes, all while learning about the stylistic influences of various art movements from which they draw inspiration. Studio classes not only offer plenty of time to create and find a personal approach to their subject matter, but they also give students the opportunity to take advantage of New York's unmatched arts scene with numerous visits to the city's world-class galleries and museums.