The Visual Arts enable students to become visually and culturally literate, to apply critical and creative thinking, and to demonstrate problem-solving through a variety of media combining technical adeptness with the development of a personal aesthetic and quality of thought. With training in the visual arts, students deepen their connections to their imaginations and world around them, strengthen their ability to articulate their ideas, and learn the skills necessary to become engaged citizens.
The Sarah Neilson Curlett Arts Center occupies an entire wing on the 2nd floor of the School. It houses the Hartman Middle School Arts Studio, two Upper School Arts studios, the Shaughnessy Ceramics/Sculpture studio, the Tilghman Photography Lab and adjoining prep room, and a woodshop. The Donkervoet LS Arts Studio is found on the 1st floor in the Lower School wing.
All studio art classes are spacious and light-filled with views out onto the school grounds. RPCS Studio Art rooms house the materials and equipment capable of producing a wide range of works, from Commedia del’ arte inspired masks and hand-made artist’s books, to life sized oil paintings. In the Ceramics program, students build clay objects by hand and at one of 7 potter’s wheels. In photography, a student can work traditionally at one of 10 enlargers or with the latest Adobe Creative Suite software on her personal laptop.
Whether an RPCS student works from real-life or imagination, enjoys shaping clay or ideas, inspiration can be found all around in colorful posters, student and faculty work and a vast library of art books and DVDs. The school takes pride in its student work and displays it in the hallways in all three divisions of the school as well in the formal exhibition space, The Knott Lobby, which adjoins the school’s Sinex Theater and central courtyard.