Acquiring fluency, thinking creatively
Fluency in art and art history gives Nightingale students the skills to think through problems critically and creatively both in and out of the studio. Budding artists experiment with every kind of media—photography, video, ceramics, paint, and more. Students visit New York’s vast array of museums to develop a facility with various art movements, styles, and techniques.
Developing visual literacy
One of Nightingale’s premier initiatives, the visual education program, is as much about making art as it is about developing visual literacy. Students are exposed to all kinds of artwork through guided tours at New York’s wonderful museums. Their observations lead them to discover, connect, and think about art differently. From a young age, students become savvy museum-goers with a profound understanding of art and art history.
Their observations lead them to discover, connect, and think about art differently.
Expanding artistic horizons
Nightingale believes that woodworking enhances spatial thinking in young minds as students understand and construct three-dimensional objects. Woodworking employs all sorts of creative joining techniques and uses a range of child-friendly materials, including wood, stone, and clay. In the dedicated woodworking studio, Lower School students learn how to use tools while crafting mind-expanding projects safely.
Woodworking enhances spatial thinking in young minds.
Old techniques for a new vision
Photography is a powerful tool that communicates attitudes and emotions and even influences decision-making. Students begin studying photography using 35mm cameras. Without the instant satisfaction of a digital photo, students learn to focus on the fundamentals of composition and, as a result, learn patience. They work in black and white and learn to process film and master basic darkroom techniques. Students are better able to see the impact of photography on their world when they see it through an old-school lens.
Students learn to focus on the fundamentals of composition.
Perspectives on art
Museum studies cover a wide array of artists and art forms, ranging from Paleolithic cave paintings to the present day. Students learn to analyze distinct works of art and place them in cultural and historical perspectives. Trips to local museums and landmarks test their observation and critical thinking powers, often pushing students to re-evaluate their personal definitions of art.
Pushing students to re-evaluate their personal definition of art.
Perfecting their craft
Students with a passionate interest in the arts have an opportunity to immerse themselves in their discipline—ceramics, drawing, painting, or photography—over the course of the year to build technique, practice, and a portfolio. Accepted students outline the work they wish to create and meet frequently with instructors from all four disciplines. In-depth group discussions, critiques, and museum and gallery visits create a conservatory-like experience for Upper School artists.
A conservatory-like experience for Upper School artists.
Possibility, and limitation
The material properties of clay inherently teach something about possibilities and limitations. Ceramics students test their limits by making functional vessels, using the pottery wheel, and trying out hand-building techniques. Studio classes let students explore very personal approaches to the subject matter, while museum visits provide a cultural framework for the art form, its history, and traditions.
Studio classes let students explore very personal approaches to the subject matter.