Upper School Arts
The Upper School arts program is designed to tap the creative potential and powers of imagination in every student. All freshmen participate in the arts, choosing a one-semester course in the Visual Arts as well as a semester in the Performing Arts. Half of the students at the Upper School commit to the arts beyond the two-year requirement.
The range of opportunities is broad. Visual arts offerings include drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and woodworking. In the performing arts, we offer vocal and instrumental music, dance, drama, and film and video, with countless opportunities for participation in school concerts or plays. If you have a passion for art, you can reach even higher levels of accomplishment and artistic sophistication. And even if you never thought of yourself as an artist, you’ll be achieving in ways you didn’t believe were possible, gaining an appreciation for art and renewed confidence in your own creative talents.
This creative energy is guided by the expertise of 14 faculty members, each a talented artist in his/her own right. Home for the arts is BB&N’s stunning Renaissance Hall, which opened in 2007. The facility features a renovated theater, art galleries, acoustically pristine orchestra, choral, and dance rooms, an expansive ceramics studio, a photography studio graced by both a conventional as well as a “digital” darkroom, and a light-filled art studio loft on the third floor.
A revealing statistic about the arts at BB&N is that two out of every three seniors chooses to participate in some form of art as part of their Senior Project program during their final eight weeks at school. We believe that this pattern of choosing to be artistic during Senior Projects speaks volumes about the passion that BB&N students hold for the arts and for the benefits and joys of the creative act.
Click here to view full course descriptions for Upper School Arts.
|Upper School Visual & Performing Arts Faculty, 2016-17 Left to right: Andrew Warren (Film & Video), Christian Tonsgard (Ceramics), Lanie Wurzel (Painting & Drawing), Mark Lindberg (Theater), Laura Tangusso (Design & Dept. Chair), Paul Ruhlmann (Woodworking), Joe Horning (Chorale), Rob Leith (Art History), Nicole Stone (Afternoon Arts)|
The tenor of the evening was full-hearted disclosure as twenty-one Upper School students—including two sets of siblings—braved the spotlight to croon ballads and belt out anthems at the annual Cabaret Night.
Instead of focusing on just one Autumn festival, the performance celebrated three different Autumn celebrations: Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season; Sukkot, the Jewish holiday commemorating the sheltering of the Israelites in the wildnerness; and El Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday celebrating the lives of friends and family members who have died.
On September 5th, Urban Improv, an arm of the organization Rehearsal for Life, spent the afternoon role playing with sixth grade students about issues that impact kids. Delving into topics such as responsibility, school/life balance, prioritizing, and others, the troupe used comedy and improv acting to help students explore common issues within their age group.
Petropoulos Art Scholars Program:
Each year the Arts Department creates a varied program of extracurricular events that are of interest to motivated performing and visual arts students. The program includes sessions with visiting artists, workshops on the use of new materials or techniques, and field trips to galleries, museums, artist studios, and theaters. Students who participate in 75 – 80 percent or more of these enriching events are designated as Petropoulos Art Scholars at the end of the academic year.