Visual Arts

Upper School Visual Arts Courses

Our students learn to express themselves in many different visual ways, using their eyes, hands, and inspiration.
Our students learn to express themselves in many different visual and tactile ways, using their own unique inspirations.

At The Pennington School, students learn to use art as a visual language through deliberate manipulation of design skills, concepts, and experience. Teachers encourage and nurture self-expression, risk taking, creative thinking, successful problem solving, and critical thinking. Three areas of media study are featured at Pennington: photography, drawing and painting, and ceramics. A photo lab with five enlargers, a clay room with five pottery wheels, a large electric kiln, and a raku kiln fired on-campus enhance artists' experiences at Pennington.

The Pennington Visual Arts program begins with Basic Art, a quarter course exploring various media and introducing the elements of art. Introductory and intermediate courses include instruction in the specific media of photography, painting, drawing, and clay and also develop skills in critical analysis and art history. Advanced courses are yearlong and media-specific, and are aimed at students serious about pursuing the visual arts after high school. College entrance portfolios are created under faculty supervision. Graduating art students have gone on to pursue the arts at schools such as the School for American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology, the College of Ceramics at Alfred University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of Visual Arts, and Rhode Island School of Design.

Art Activities

Students interested in the visual arts have many opportunities to explore art with trips to local art galleries, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students have the opportunity to visit artists' studios and watch the artists in action, as well as to talk to them about their trade and techniques. Students of all abilities participate in the Empty Bowls project each spring, making pottery bowls, selling them in the community, and donating the proceeds to TASK (Trenton Area Soup Kitchen). Students may also participate in After School Art, an activity providing varied art experiences outside of the school day.