Visual & Performing Arts

The Visual and Performing Arts are characterized by a rich and active history at The Knox School. We believe that the Arts are an essential element in our lives. To facilitate this understanding, we continue to take advantage of all of the rich resources around us. In doing so, we hope to build a positive sense of “place” for the Arts in the students’ daily lives both now and as adults. As a department, we hope to instill an appreciation of the arts by building a stronger sense of self through awareness, relaxation, expression and confidence. As human beings, we are forever enriched by the arts and the artists who dare to create.

Visual Arts students have regular opportunities to show their work, whether in our on-campus gallery (The Solarium at Houghton Hall) or other local galleries. Performing Arts students share their projects, their voices, and their scenes with the Knox Community in various showcases throughout the year. Students with an interest in applying their performing skills to theatrical production have the opportunity to join Knox Theatre.

This course serves as a full-year introduction to photography as a fine arts medium with a focus on black & white 35mm film shooting, developing, and printing. This course emphasizes the technical aspects of photography through demonstration, readings, and hands-on experience. Open to Upper School students with an interest in photography.

Media Arts I
This full-year introductory course focuses on the practical operation and creative possibilities of digital photography and video using a Digital SLR. This course explores digital capture, computer editing using Adobe Photoshop, and output techniques utilizing professional Epson printers. Students should have a digital camera with manual capabilities which will shoot stills and video. Open to Upper School students with an interest in photography.

Media Arts II
This course combines the skills learned in Photo I and Media arts and moves students to the advanced mechanics and aesthetics of digital and 35 mm photography digital imaging skills and output techniques. Open to the Upper School students who have successfully passed Photography and/or Media
Arts I.

Studio Art I
This course allows students to examine the major concepts of studio art. They begin with drawing then move on to explore painting, printmaking, and various other media of their choice. While learning and improving their technical skills, they will also be learning the concepts of line, spatial relationships, and creative expression. Students will progress from the cornerstone of art (drawing) through to printmaking. Open to Upper School students with an interest in painting or drawing.

Studio Art II
Studio Art II allows students to continue to develop the skills gained in Studio Art I and move on to generating pieces that reflect their personal creative style. Possible media include acrylic, watercolor, and tempera painting, as well as printmaking, quilling, batiking, and collaging. Open to Upper School students with an interest in painting or drawing who have completed Studio Art I.

Ceramics is a full-year course designed to develop the students’ interest and skills in the creation of ceramic arts, including the artistic process from conception to firing. Students will also discover major artists and explore how their work influenced the history of ceramic arts. Open to Upper School students with an interest in ceramics.

AP Studio Art
The AP Art and Design course is designed as an advanced investigation into art making that will result in a comprehensive original portfolio of artwork that can be used for the college application, and will be submitted to the College Board for review. Within this course, students will develop a portfolio that consists of two sections – Selected Work and Sustained Investigation, in the subject of Drawing or 2-D Design. This portfolio will exhibit mastery of four skill categories- Inquiry & Investigation, Making through Practice, Experimentation & Revision, and Communication and Reflection. In addition to completing an advanced art portfolio, students will investigate prospective careers in the arts, research prospective colleges and universities, and prepare college applications to their desired higher education prospects.

Electronic Illustration
This course contains an overview of tools and techniques used to convey messages, sell products, and promote awareness, through visual means. Students will apply foundational graphic design principles to digital image-making applications, digital illustration, and layout design, using industry-standard graphic design software. Students will also utilize the 5-Phase design process (discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation, and evolution), which puts design thinking into action. Students will apply ideas from a variety of sources, including art/design theory, history, and more, in an effort to provide a deeper understanding of images in contemporary culture.

ART122 Electronic Illustration
This course enables students to create and modify illustrations and scanned images using the desktop computer as an electronic drawing tool. Students will explore image enhancement, compositing and photo-restoration techniques, vector and raster image-making approaches and industry-standard technologies to create commercial art studies and original illustrations. Upon completion of this course students will have curated a personalized portfolio of digital illustrations and electronic artwork. Available for college credit through the Suffolk County Community College Beacon Program.

This course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the art of vocal performance, particularly as a choir. Students in this course explore vocal music from various periods, styles, and cultures, and develop an understanding of the original social and cultural context for each piece of music studied. They work to develop their ability to sight-sing, building on a strong foundation in music theory, through the study of solfege. Students also build confidence in their skills through regular performances at school events and at each semester recital. Open to Upper School students with an interest in singing and the ability to match pitch.

Chamber Choir
This smaller singing ensemble is hand-selected by the Choir Director and consists of an elite group of vocalists who wish to pursue studies in vocal music and/or performance.

Theatre I
Theatre is a full-year course designed to develop students’ understanding of the various arts involved in the creation and production of theatre. Theatre students explore the crafts associated with the arts of acting, playwriting, designing, and directing. Students develop their understanding of the business of theatre and the variety of jobs available to those who have a passion for theatre and theatrical production. Students present their work at each trimester recital and attend two professional theatre productions. Open to Upper School students with an interest in theatre; preference given to students in grades 11 and 12.

Theatre II
This full-year course is designed for those students who have successfully completed Theatre I and who may wish to pursue studies in theatre and performance at the University level.

Stagecraft is a full-year course that introduces students to the theatrical arts associated with the technical elements of production, including scenic, costume, and lighting design; set construction and painting; lighting hanging, focusing, and gelling; and costume construction and alteration. Students learn to create scenographic models, ground plans, and front elevations, provide technical support for Knox Theatre productions and serve as technicians when appropriate for school events. Students also attend two professional theatre productions. Open to Upper School students with an interest in backstage work, including working with power tools, computers, and lighting equipment.

Music History
In this full-year course, students will examine various aspects of music that define style, genre, and period and develop the vocabulary to discuss them.

Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory
This is a full-year course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement exam in Music Theory. Students will challenge themselves to develop a keen awareness of musical techniques present in significant works of the major musical periods and genres. Open to Upper School students in grades 11 and 12 who sing and/or play an instrument; placement at the discretion of the Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department.

Lessons Practicum
Private lessons in voice and any musical instrument requested can be arranged at an additional fee. Students receive a private lesson during the class day once a week throughout the school year. No academic credit is earned for private music lessons.

Our Faculty

Karyn Cernera-Bush

Chair of Visual & Performing Arts

Patricia Colombraro

Photography & Media Arts Teacher
Solarium Art Gallery Curator

Andreika Eikerenkoetter-Horne

Visual Arts Teacher

Melissa Coyle

Choir & Music History Teacher

Joseph Osheroff

Theatre Teacher