Portledge School encourages all students to embrace creative expression while developing an understanding of artistic conventions and the use of tools and materials while working in the art studio. An appreciation for, and understanding of, the importance of art and creativity is a focal point of our curriculum. Our passionate and accomplished team of art teachers seeks to strike a balance of shared constructive criticism and individual motivation to help each student achieve the highest levels of creative excellence in his/her work. Student art works are displayed within each division and highlighted through art exhibitions organized throughout the school year.

Lower School

The visual arts play an essential role in the Lower School curriculum. Young children are encouraged to experiment with a wide variety of media, techniques, and materials as they stretch their thinking, develop their craft, and reflect upon their creative work. The art teacher encourages students to observe closely, reach beyond their preconceived abilities, take risks, and become independent thinkers. Students learn through active participation in the creative process and participate in visual arts classes beginning in Pre-Nursery. Our art curriculum includes explorations in drawing, painting, design, woodworking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and mixed media.

Middle School

Middle School students rotate between studio, wood, sculpture, and photography classes during the school year. Art experiences are designed to deepen each student’s understanding of fundamental art concepts, including the elements and principles of art and to implement the core skills needed to be successful in art. The development of strong observational skills, artistic techniques, and compositional design are emphasized through a variety of drawing, sculpture, and mixed media experiences.

Upper School

Upper School students have the opportunity to further develop their creative competencies through the visual arts program. The ninth grade Art Foundations course is a required, core course, designed as a creative foundation for ninth grade students. Upon completion of the Art Foundations course, students may elect to enroll in specific art electives offered during grades ten through twelve. Current art electives include IB Yr. 1, IB Yr. 2, Filmmaking, Advanced Portfolio, Photography/Media, Architecture, Sculpture, Graffiti Art, and Ceramics.

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Portledge Memory Project 2017

The Memory Project film was a collaboration between Portledge School fifth grade students, the Quick Cast mobile film company, and individuals from the Portledge and surrounding community. The students worked under the guidance of Ms. Benter in the making of this film. The aim of the project was to ask participants to share personal memories from their lifetime. The fifth grade students worked with the Quick Cast crew to document their stories on film. Later, the students captured their own personal memories through reflective drawings. Students were asked to capture who, what happened, and where, in a way that clearly communicated a personal memory. The students were then filmed speaking about their memories, their artworks and their thoughts about participating in the project. Parents were invited to a special viewing of the film during the fifth grade art show held in the Lower School library this spring. 

Click here to view The Memory Project