Our commitment to the Visual Arts at Wardlaw+Hartridge demonstrates that art, as a subject, is not an extra, but rather an integral part of a student’s education and life. The visual arts transcend boundaries of nation, age, race, and religion to speak their own, universal, language. Students at W+H broaden their view of visual arts learning from a very young age that everyone is an artist and their creative ideas merit artistic expression.
Early ChildhoodIn Early Childhood, students have their first experience with the art studio environment. We intend for art to develop their cognitive, social, and kinesthetic growth. Children are encouraged to express their ideas about their artwork with both their teacher and their peers. Students enjoy the freedom of exploring and creating with different art mediums while building their confidence to express themselves. Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten students are provided with skills and knowledge while exploring, creating, and gaining an appreciation of the visual arts.
Creating art is a natural occurrence in childhood, an activity that children discover and pursue quite independently. At Wardlaw+Hartridge, this creative impulse is encouraged, guided, and enriched by providing an inviting, challenging, and stimulating environment. The Art Program in the Lower School encourages individuality and expression of ideas while exploring art materials. Over time, students become more adept at handling a variety of media and create in both two- and three-dimensional forms. Our curriculum also provides the opportunity to explore and mimic the work of famous artists. Through this, they learn to appreciate not only their own work but that of others, as well.
Middle SchoolThe Middle School Art Program is designed to be a transitional stage as young artists leave the Lower School, assume more responsibility, accept new challenges, and prepare for the Upper School. Students work in a variety of media in both two- and three-dimensional forms. Our goals are to develop each student’s ability to create his or her own works of art, to deepen their aesthetic awareness of the environment, and to develop an appreciation for art created by others. Students are challenged to explore many ideas through individual projects, and a large majority of the Middle School Art curriculum is centered around ideas of expression of identity and self.
Visual and Fine Arts in the Upper School provides students with coursework to further pursue their artistic interests through several specialized electives accessible to all who are looking to develop their talents and explore their creativity. In the Upper School, all Visual Arts courses are electives. Students have the opportunity to select studio-level courses. In all of our coursework, the principles and elements of design are taught and reinforced, building upon the foundation of the Lower and Middle Schools. Students at all levels work with skilled faculty (all of whom are themselves practicing artists) amid outstanding resources and facilities providing the basis for those who want to carry their investment in the visual arts beyond graduation.
We believe the arts teach a kind of self-knowledge students could not get in any other way. Wardlaw+Hartridge is committed to developing artistic talent in all of our students. Thus, art is an integral part of each student’s exacademic experience. Our students are continuously invigorated by direct experience with artistic value, whether they are creating art, critiquing their achievements, or appreciating the art of others. We are proud of our approach to delve into artistic expression rather than to simply touch on topics. We spend considerable time introducing students to movements, materials, and methods to build confidence, knowledge, and skill.
Each student is encouraged to express their uniqueness and individuality through their artwork. Project design across the divisions is purposeful and develops a clear understanding of procedure and skill so that the focus is on originality and pride in craftsmanship.
Mr. Andrew Sullivan
Upper School Art Teacher
Ms. Tanda Tucker
Visual Arts Department Chair
MS Art Teacher