Arts

Involvement in the arts is one of the central Putney experiences. The academic arts program, encompassing a diverse range of disciplines in the visual and performing arts, forms the core of the arts program. Students in visual art courses increase their awareness of the visual world, develop skills to creatively translate their ideas into visible form, and gain an understanding of the context and language of each discipline. Music courses introduce students to the art of music, from both an academic and an aesthetic viewpoint. Many students continue their work in the arts during Project Week to delve into their media in greater depth and concentration.

Ceramics 1

.5 credit
Students will learn to work with a variety of hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques with an emphasis on functional ceramics. Design elements of form, proportion and surface will be explored. Historical and contemporary ceramics will be investigated. Along with different construction methods, students are introduced to a variety of surface decoration possibilities, such as texturing, carving, and working with slips. There will be a focus on good craftsmanship and attention to detail. Innovation and experimentation are highly encouraged. Basic glaze chemistry and how a gas kiln is fired will be covered. In the winter trimester there will be a focus on electric/oxidation firing: We will take advantage of firing clay work in the electric kiln to achieve effects particular to that method of firing. The possibility for bright colors and a variety of detailed and layered decorative techniques will be explored. The electric kiln is located in the comfort of the ceramics studio for more ease of loading, firing and unloading rather than the outdoor gas/reduction kiln which is used in the fall and spring. In the spring trimester there is a section on collecting local clay, learning about the geology of it, making pots and pit-firing them. Prerequisite for Ceramics II, III: Ceramics I, II, or permission of the instructor.

Ceramics 2/3

.5 credit
Students will learn to work with a variety of hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques with an emphasis on functional ceramics. Design elements of form, proportion and surface will be explored. Historical and contemporary ceramics will be investigated. Along with different construction methods, students are introduced to a variety of surface decoration possibilities, such as texturing, carving, and working with slips. There will be a focus on good craftsmanship and attention to detail. Innovation and experimentation are highly encouraged. Basic glaze chemistry and how a gas kiln is fired will be covered. In the winter trimester there will be a focus on electric/oxidation firing: We will take advantage of firing clay work in the electric kiln to achieve effects particular to that method of firing. The possibility for bright colors and a variety of detailed and layered decorative techniques will be explored. The electric kiln is located in the comfort of the ceramics studio for more ease of loading, firing and unloading rather than the outdoor gas/reduction kiln which is used in the fall and spring. In the spring trimester there is a section on collecting local clay, learning about the geology of it, making pots and pit-firing them. Prerequisite for Ceramics II, III: Ceramics I, II, or permission of the instructor.

Digital Filmmaking

.5 credit
Students explore the use of digital filmmaking as a means of self-expression and as an art form through both narrative and documentary styles. Students examine the elements of storytelling, composition, cinematography, lighting, sound recording, and editing as they create short films throughout the course. Through viewing a wide variety of filmmakers and film types students build foundational and historical knowledge of the medium.

Drawing 1

.5 credit
In this course, students develop their ability to perceive the world around them and skillfully translate their perceptions to paper. Students will become fluent in expression of the basic elements of visual experience: light, gesture, edge, mass, texture, and space. Subjects will include the human head, the figure, still life, landscape and interior in a variety of wet and dry media. Participants will be encouraged to explore personally significant themes by maintaining a sketchbook of images from daily life. Images of notable artists will be studied in class and in a visit to a major museum. Students will regularly critique and discuss each other’s work in order to share experiences, identify successful elements in their drawings, and support each other's’ efforts.

Drawing 2

.5 credit
In this course, students learn to express the perceived world with greater skill and clarity as they develop the expressive elements of a personal style. Students are encouraged to explore new media and approaches and to develop their fundamental skills more fully. Students will also develop a portfolio on a single theme consisting of many extended studies and variations in approach. Prerequisite: Drawing I or permission of the instructor.

Fiber Arts 1

.5 credit
Through individual projects, students learn about a wide range of techniques as they create textiles and explore structure, function, color and design. The primary focus is weaving. Spinning, knitting, dyeing, sewing, and quilting will also be covered. A component of the class is collaborative dialogue among students about design choices and approaches. Students maintain a journal that includes a record of projects, skills learned, inspiration and reflections. A modest lab fee covers basic materials.

Fiber Arts 2/3

.5 credit
Students expand their knowledge of fiber arts through designing projects in their areas of interest. These can include weaving on four and eight-harness floor looms, exploring color through dyeing cellulose and animal fibers, papermaking, knitting by hand and machine, and clothing design and construction. Students maintain a journal that includes a record of projects, skills learned, inspiration and reflections. They will also research an area of interest and give a presentation to the class. A modest lab fee covers basic materials. Prerequisite for Fiber Arts II: Fiber Arts I and permission of the instructor.

Guitar Basics

.5 credit
This class provides students with a comprehensive introduction: playing technique, basic chords and their structure, and voicing. The course gives students the opportunity to build practical playing skills and familiarity with music theory. This single trimester course is intended for students with little to no formal guitar training or experience.

History and Language of Art

.5 credit
The goal of this class is to give students bearings that will help them be able to look carefully at art. Through study of Western art from the late medieval period to the 20th century, students learn to see art clearly and relate what they see to its cultural context, with the aim of fostering a lifelong pleasure in looking at art. The class will study works in reproduction and in visits to major museums. Students will also study techniques and materials through hands-on experience of silverpoint drawing, fresco, and oil painting, including the manufacture of selected media from raw materials. Students will write critiques of paintings and will execute schematic copies of works of art to reveal their compositional elements. The course culminates in presentation of individual research projects. Meets senior humanities credit; does not fulfill the arts requirement.

Music Composition

.5 credit
This course reveals basic tools used in composition. Students begin with fundamental elements such as pitch (high vs low), vertical vs horizontal, pulse vs non-pulse, timbre, texture, dynamics, and articulation. The course covers compositional techniques in use in today’s music: tone rows, inversions, retrograde inversion, rhythmic and tonal augmentation and diminution. Students will explore rhythmic compositions, short and long melodies, organization of pitch classes, cell theory, functional tonal harmony, modulating scales and more. Students will notate their music both in manuscript and Sibelius notation program. Movie, video game, and electronic music techniques will be explored as well. The prerequisite is having completed any first term music course or equivalent.

Music Intensive

.5 credit
This course is designed for musicians who would benefit from a focused and individualized setting in which to develop their skills. The curriculum for the course will be developed by the student in collaboration with the course instructor, but is subject to approval by the private lesson instructor where appropriate. Students must establish and adhere to a weekly schedule of at least three hours per week of practice time (in addition to class time and private lessons). Three short performances (such as performance of a song in school assembly) and a longer final lecture/demonstration are required. Admission to the class is by permission of the instructor. Students enrolled in private music lessons receive priority.

Music Theory 1

.5 credit
Music Theory I is intended to take musicians with some basic knowledge of the mechanics of music (note reading, beginning familiarity with the keyboard or other pitched instrument) to a deeper understanding of the way music works. The course focuses on the written and aural comprehension of pitch and rhythm as well as phrase structure, melody, basic harmony, and four-part writing. The course includes technology-based work using Musition and Auralia software. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

Inquire Now