Studio Arts

Sharing your vision of the world is a daily practice in the studio.

Through the lens of a camera, the stroke of a brush, or the spin of the potter’s wheel, Pomfret students use the visual arts to communicate beyond words and numbers. In a program created and guided by accomplished artists, you will discover and develop your ability to translate a creative impulse into a compelling visual expression.

Painting & Drawing

The Painting and Drawing studio is a place to explore and experiment. Students have access to the space at all times. The curriculum is project based, using a wide range of materials and methods, and includes a sequence of courses from introductory to college level. The program also includes gallery opportunities on and off campus, guest artists and the chance to study abroad. Artists of all levels will find this studio both welcoming and challenging.

Sculpture & Ceramics

The Sculpture and Ceramics studio seeks to give students a hands-on experience in creating three-dimensional form, whether it is working on hand built projects using clay or making functional ware on the potter’s wheel. Reductive sculpture, additive work assemblage, casting in plaster and glass, and site-specific work are all included in the curriculum. Students are encouraged to pursue and develop their master of a variety of techniques to realize their own vision of three-dimensional form.

Painting and Drawing - General

OFFERED: fall, winter, and spring terms

Any student wanting to enroll in Painting and Drawing (other than Advanced or Honors) should sign up without indicating a specific course level. Once the term begins, the teacher and the student will together establish the level which best corresponds to that student's ability (see individual course descriptions). That course title will appear on his/her transcript.

Intro to Painting and Drawing I

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

In the Intro to Painting and Drawing class students learn basic drawing and rendering skills. They are given projects that teach them how to look. Students work from still life and photographs, and experiment with several drawing and coloring techniques. They will learn to transfer images to scale using a grid system. By the end of the term, each student completes numerous pieces in a variety of sizes, styles, and mediums. Students are encouraged to push the media by developing a unique and creative relationship with it. All projects are completed in the art studio. Grades are based on attendance, and classroom performance.

Intro to Painting and Drawing II

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

The Intro to Painting and Drawing II course, while including a review of basic drawing skills, is designed to introduce students to a variety of drawing, painting and rendering techniques. Each assignment is an introduction a new medium and/or material. All projects are completed in class, but the studio is always open for them to use outside of class time. Grades are based on attendance, and classroom performance.


Intermediate Painting and Drawing

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

In the Intermediate Painting and Drawing class, students are presented with a challenging topic which they are required to depict visually. They will experiment with a range of mediums and create original pieces through various painting and drawing techniques. All projects are completed in class, but the students are encouraged to use the studio outside of class time. Intermediate Painting and Drawing students are expected to display strong drawing skills and think outside of the box. Students are graded on attendance, productivity, and effort.

Intermediate Painting and Drawing II

OFFERED: see Painting and Drawing - General for more information

The Intermediate Painting and Drawing II class is designed for responsible, creative and self‐motivated students with good drawing and painting skills. Students are expected to have an understanding of the human figure, color, composition, and the use of different mediums. Each student works on independent projects chosen either by themselves or in collaboration with the painting instructor. Students are expected to keep a personal sketchbook and are encouraged to challenge themselves and experiment with materials. Grading is based on attendance, classroom performance, creativity, time management, and productivity. Students are expected to complete all pieces to the best of their abilities and be able to explain the inspiration behind their works. Students are also encouraged to spend time in the studio outside of classroom time. Prerequisite: Intermediate Painting & Drawing or be approved by the instructor.

Honors Painting and Drawing

OFFERED: yearlong

The Honors Painting and Drawing is designed for responsible, creative and self-motivated students with strong drawing and painting skills. In this yearlong class students will work under the tutelage of four to six guest artists. These professional artists will share their passion for the arts, and work alongside the students for a two-week session. Grading is based on attendance, classroom performance, creativity, and productivity. Students are expected to complete all pieces to the best of their abilities, and be able to explain the inspiration behind their works. Prerequisite: Intermediate Painting & Drawing and Intermediate Painting and Drawing II to be considered for this course or with approval by the instructor.

Adv. Studio Art: Painting and Drawing

OFFERED: yearlong

The Advanced Painting and Drawing class is geared toward dedicated, responsible, creative and self-motivated students with strong drawing and painting skills. The students are expected to have an understanding and a command of a variety of different rendering techniques. Students are expected to challenge themselves and experiment with the materials they use. They must complete all their artworks to the best of their ability and be able to explain the inspiration behind their works. Grading is based on attendance, classroom performance, time management, and creativity. As advanced students they are also expected to spend time outside of class time in the studio, and participate in all figure drawing sessions. The goal of this class is to successfully complete a portfolio that clearly showcases the artist's creative abilities. Approval by the instructor is required for enrollment.


Drawing in France: L'Atelier au Chateau

Offered: Summer Quarter

At L’Atelier, we provide you with an opportunity to grow your artistic ideas, sharpen your skills with expert advice, and develop or add to your portfolio as an art student. Whether you are supplementing an advanced level portfolio or just exploring your passion for drawing, this program offers you the time, space, and guidance you need while providing a global experience through food, culture, and authentic French accommodations and excursions. Each student is involved in three art sessions per day and is required to show his or her work in a public exhibition on the final evening of the program. 

Ceramics I

Offered: Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms

This course is an introduction to the basic techniques of clay forming. Students will experiment with a range of hand-building techniques while answering studio assignments, and creating both functional and non-functional work. The aesthetics of form and surface will be a principle focus. Ceramic history and ceramic geology will be integrated into the course work. Open to all students.

Ceramics II: Handbuilding

Offered: Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms

Handbuilding is designed for students who have completed Ceramics I and wish to continue their study of ceramics. Students will be asked to expand on their existing knowledge of ceramics, strengthen their technical skills, and seek sophisticated solutions to given assignments.

Ceramics II: Intro to the Wheel

Offered: Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms

Wheel concentration students who have completed Ceramics I will begin an introductory studio course designed to acquaint students with the principles of wheel-thrown ceramics. Emphasis will be given to the development of wheel throwing techniques, surface enrichment, and glazing.

Advanced Ceramics

Offered: Yearlong

This course is designed for students who have completed Ceramics I and II and wish to continue their study. As an advanced course, students will be asked to expand on their existing knowledge of ceramics, strengthen their technical skills, and create a cohesive body of work throughout the year. A gallery show will be the culminating piece and evaluation for each student.  In addition to their own work in the studio, students can expect to pursue some research and inquiry into the work of contemporary ceramic artists.

Chemistry of Glazing

Offered: Spring Term

Students will study the properties of glazing through the chemistry of designing and mixing glazes. Students will spend time between both the ceramics studio and the chemistry lab, exploring known glaze recipes and studying how each reacts with heat, students will design, create, and test their own custom formulated glazes. This course will focus on ceramic materials: their chemistry, origins, properties and functions, the properties of heat and temperature as related to ceramic performance, glaze formulas: analysis and performance, the function of ceramic oxides and color, and glaze flaws: identification and correction.

The Art of Filmmaking

Offered: Winter Term

This project-based course introduces students to the art and craft of filmmaking. By taking on the roles of director, screenwriter, actor, editor, and audio engineer to produce a series of short films, students will have a hands-on experience in storytelling for the screen. Students will work both collaboratively and individually on projects that include first ideas/concepts, storyboarding, visual vocabulary, rhythm, sound, and capturing/framing movement on camera. Apple’s Final Cut Pro® software will introduce students to post-production techniques to produce films that are clear, compelling, and evocative. Projects could be featured in the annual Pomfret Film Festival.

Public Art and Installation

Offered: Fall and Winter Terms

Students will examine public art and installation art as a hybrid form that negotiates boundaries of traditional art practices like painting, sculpture, video and film. This course focuses on the history and critical reception of public art and installation as a practice. You will investigate how conceptual, spatial and material needs define the language and application of installation art. This course is broken into be two parts. The first part will be spent studying current and past public artists, their work, and different mediums used. As a part of this course students will be required to attend class field trips to various galleries and venues to interact with current art installations, shows, and other works of public art. A research project and idea proposal will be the precursor to each student designing and creating their own work of public art to be displayed, performed, or presented somewhere on the Pomfret Campus for the school community.