Academics
Departments and Curriculum

Visual Arts


Holderness School offers a wide range of visual arts curricula. The fine arts faculty offers training in studio arts, ceramics and photography, and regularly exhibits student work in the Heide Family Gallery as well as in other campus common spaces.

The Carpenter Arts Center—a spacious and sunny renovation of the original Holderness School gymnasium—is home to most of the fine arts coursework. The facility features a digital photography lab, a ceramics studio with eight wheels and a gas kiln, a press for linoleum or wood block printing, equipment for jewelry and stained glass production, a darkroom with 11 enlarger–equipped work stations, a studio for still–life and portrait photography, a matting and critiquing room, and student gallery space. Holderness School is also home to a blacksmith forge and a mural printing darkroom.

Student Work



Click here to see more student work

Edwards Art Gallery

The Carpenter Arts Center is also home to the Edwards Art Gallery which exhibits working artists several times a year.



Click here to visit the Edwards Art Gallery page


Visual Arts Course Descriptions

  • Ninth Grade Seminar in Art

    1. Ninth Grade Seminart uses creative expression as a tool for authenticating concepts, personalizing abstractions, and changing attitudes by synthesizing the emotional and intellectual responses to any aspect of our lives.
    2. Through teamwork and problem solving, this course is designed to provide students with a familiarity of how to use creative expression through design thinking in a variety of settings with an understanding of the role of personal creative expression.
    3. It is a goal of the course to provide increased confidence in students’ artistic, imaginative and creative abilities.

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    No textbook required.
  • 2D Graphic Design

    1. This semester long course is a hands-on graphic design art course with strong emphasis on communication and design careers. This course seeks to link the eye of the artist with the power of the computer. Students will learn basic image manipulation, logo design, promotional poster design, t-shirt design, and the skills of commission works from a client. Other design opportunities will be offered depending on student interest and client requests.
    2. Students will work with Adobe Creative Suite, focusing on Photoshop and Illustrator to develop both Raster and Vector images.
    3. The goal of this course is for students to learn the foundation of design as a career and utilize the elements and principles of design to ensure quality outcome.  Lastly, students will learn to respect their own ideas and artistic expressions and those of others as they analyze and evaluate design lessons.

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    No textbook required.
  • Studio Practices

    1. Student artists in the Studio Practices course will experiment with a variety of media to create visual art during the semester long course. The elements of art (line, shape, space, color, value, texture, and form) are applied in two-dimensional Drawing, Painting and Design lessons. Students will begin to apply the principles of design, (rhythm/ movement, balance, proportion/ scale, variety/ unity, emphasis, contrast and repetition) in their art expression. The development and application of artistic techniques and skills are emphasized.
    2. Students will express their ideas by using art as a form of communication and will develop the confidence and ability to evaluate and discuss their own work and the work of others. As students work toward an appreciation and understanding of art, they will relate visual arts to various historical and cultural traditions. Students will learn to respect their own ideas and artistic expressions and those of others as they analyze and evaluate works of art.
    3. Students will develop Final Portfolios that will be assessed after each lesson and at the end of the semester with the guidance of specific grading rubrics and group critiques.

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    No textbook required.
  • AP 2-D Art and Design

    AP Studio Art provides the opportunity for the visually inclined students to excel and receive recognition on a national level. It allows students to compare their work with other high school students throughout the nation, and helps them prepare an excellent portfolio for study at the college level. All students enrolling in the course are expected to submit an AP Portfolio.

    AP Studio Art: Drawing/ 2D/ 3D is a two-semester course that focuses on producing a large number of quality works that demonstrate mastery of fundamental artistic concepts. In their work, students will investigate all three components of the AP Portfolio; Quality, Concentration and Breadth. Students will further develop their technical skills and creative thought processes as they find their own way to communicate visually. Students will also be presented with problems that require unconventional and imaginative solutions. This fast paced course requires the student to be highly motivated and interested in the serious study of art, which may lead to college credit. Motivation, imagination and commitment are required to succeed in the course.

    There are three portfolio types in AP Studio Art. A Drawing Portfolio, a 2D Portfolio and a 3D portfolio. Descriptions for each to follow.

    The AP Drawing Portfolio is designed to address a very broad interpretation of drawing issues and media. Light and shade, line quality, rendering of form, composition, surface manipulation, and illusion of depth are drawing issues that can be addressed through a variety of means, which could include painting, printmaking, mixed media, etc. Abstract, observational, and inventive works may demonstrate drawing competence. The range of marks used to make drawings, the arrangement of those marks, and the materials used to make the marks are endless. Projects will be structured around the elements of art and principles of design. In these projects, students will need to use their knowledge of technique and materials to communicate through their art. This encourages students to use critical thinking skills, while also developing their own voices as visual artists. Thus, students will develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of their personal artistic vision.

    The purpose of AP Studio Art: 2-D Design is to provide an intensive study of the process of creating two-dimensional design (2-D) artwork using both traditional fine and digital art media (materials and tools). Emphasis is placed on the quality, breadth and concentration of the student’s production and experiences in digital art, photography, drawing, and design. Projects will be structured around the elements of art and principles of design. In these projects, students will need to use their knowledge of technique and materials to communicate through their art. This encourages students to use critical thinking skills, while also developing their own voices as visual artists. Thus, students will develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of their personal artistic vision.

    The purpose of AP Studio Art: 3-D Design is to provide an intensive study of the process of creating three-dimensional (3-D) artwork using the elements and principles of design in an integrative way. Emphasis is placed on the quality, breadth and concentration of the student’s understanding of design principles relating to Space and Depth. In these projects, students will need to use their knowledge of technique and materials to communicate through their art. This encourages students to use critical thinking skills, while also developing their own voices as visual artists. Thus, students will develop mastery in concept, construction, and presentation of their personal artistic vision.
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    No textbook required.
  • Advanced Studio Practices

    1. This advanced course is a study of the principles and elements of art using a variety of studio media to explore compositional possibilities on a two-dimensional surface or three-dimensional space. The elements of design are like a palette of possibilities that artists use to express themselves. The principles of design help guide artists in making decisions about how to organize the elements on a picture plane or in physical space in order to communicate content. In order to think critically about visual design, this course will begin with a practical approach to solving visual problems while introducing the vocabulary of visual terms and visual analysis.
    2. Through structured studio experiences, students will learn the intrinsic qualities of various media and develop an understanding of compositional strategies, technical skills and design processes. The importance of good craftsmanship and a professional approach to studio practices will be emphasized along with the experimental and imaginative manipulation of form and content. Increasing emphasis will be placed on subjectivity, content and conceptual development in student work.
    3. Students will develop Final Portfolios that will be assessed after each lesson and at the end of the semester with the guidance of specific grading rubrics and group critiques.
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    No textbook required.
  • Photography I

    Photography I will establish a solid photographic foundation by introducing students to the magic, romanticism and craft of traditional B&W film and darkroom photography in a studio with a hands-on environment. We will often work together on and off campus shooting as a group while discussing the photographic merits of particular places, quality of light and shooting at different times of day.

    Students will learn diverse photographic techniques with an emphasis on how to see and create meaningful and powerful photographs they can be proud of. They will be working both out on location and in the studio.

    Students will learn how to see and recognize the quality of light and tone when making photographs, how to compose an image, capture a photographic moment and print traditional B&W prints in the darkroom. Students will take part in meaningful group critiques of their work. They will also learn how to give and accept constructive criticism of their and classmates’ photographs while working on assignments and a personal project.

    Media Literacy
    Required Reading: Students will be required to regularly read one of several mainstream news outlets, such as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal for class discussions about news and culture.
  • Photography II

    Course description coming soon.

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    Textbooks will be assigned in class.
  • Advanced Photography I

    1. In Advanced Photography, students continue the creative exploration of this expressive medium through work with small, medium, and large format cameras, printing, and extensive use of electronic and experimental lighting. Work is done in both analog and digital photographic media. Students have input into the thematic development of the course. They are asked to combine writings with image-making and research in order to prepare a college-level portfolio.
    2. This course can be taken for one or two years. It is offered to 11th and 12th graders who have successfully completed the introductory course in photography.
    3. Course content is adjusted to the level of the class and individual students.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • Advanced Photography II

    1. In Advanced Photography, students continue the creative exploration of this expressive medium through work with small, medium, and large format cameras, printing, and extensive use of electronic and experimental lighting. Work is done in both analog and digital photographic media. Students have input into the thematic development of the course. They are asked to combine writings with image-making and research in order to prepare a college-level portfolio.
    2. This course can be taken for one or two years. It is offered to 11th and 12th graders who have successfully completed the introductory course in photography.
    3. Course content is adjusted to the level of the class and individual students.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • Advanced Photography III

    1. In Advanced Photography, students continue the creative exploration of this expressive medium through work with small, medium, and large format cameras, printing, and extensive use of electronic and experimental lighting. Work is done in both analog and digital photographic media. Students have input into the thematic development of the course. They are asked to combine writings with image-making and research in order to prepare a college-level portfolio.
    2. This course can be taken for one or two years. It is offered to 11th and 12th graders who have successfully completed the introductory course in photography.
    3. Course content is adjusted to the level of the class and individual students.

    Order Your Textbook(s)

    Click on the book(s) above for direct purchasing options. Please note: if you would like to find the books through another vendor, be sure to take note of the exact ISBN numbers so you/your child has the correct book for class.
  • Beginning Ceramics

    1. This semester course is open to all students interested in working with clay. The primary focus of the class is learning how to create pottery using the potter's wheel. Students learn to throw bowls, cylinders, and forms derived from cylinders. Students learn to trim their pots. Methods used to glaze pots are also taught. Students are introduced to the equipment in the ceramics studio and its care. Students learn some of the technical terms and their meanings.
    2. Students explore a variety of books and catalogs about ceramics, and see videos of famous potters.

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    No textbook required.
  • Intermediate Ceramics

    1. These semester courses are open to all students who have completed the prerequisite ceramics course. Classes are tailored to each student, focusing on individual interests. Ceramics students are expected to increase their technical proficiency, explore a diversity of forms, and employ a variety of glazing techniques.
    2. Students learn terms and definitions in order to become more familiar with the technical aspects of ceramics. They are introduced to a number of resources in the library, and see videos of famous ceramic artists.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    No textbook required.
  • Advanced Ceramics

    1. These semester courses are open to all students who have completed the prerequisite ceramics course. Classes are tailored to each student, focusing on individual interests. Ceramics students are expected to increase their technical proficiency, explore a diversity of forms, and employ a variety of glazing techniques.
    2. Students learn terms and definitions in order to become more familiar with the technical aspects of ceramics. They are introduced to a number of resources in the library, and see videos of famous ceramic artists.

    Order Your Textbook(s)
    No textbook required.
  • Filmmaking

    1. Students will learn the fundamentals of filmmaking and the technical skills needed to create short films using digital video cameras and Adobe Premiere Pro. They will also study conceptual aspects of narrative storytelling in documentary and fiction. The course will involve hands-on training, assignments and a final project. Emphasis will be placed on creativity, personal vision and collaboration. We will view many films and scenes from various genres as creative examples for both technique and inspiration. Students will be challenged to consider the images, video clips and films they view and make in order to improve their visual and media literacy in the fast paced culture we inhabit.
    2. During the course each student will be taught:
      · How to tell a story through video
      · The basic principles of how to capture video and audio
      · How to edit video and audio

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    No textbook required.
  • Advanced Filmmaking

    Coming soon.

View Our Curriculum

Faculty

  • Photo of Monique Devine-Robichaud
    Monique Devine-Robichaud
    Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair
    (603) 779-5352
    CW Post College of Long Island University - BS
    Westlake High School, Thornwood, NY
    Goddard College (VT) - MFA-IA
    Bio
  • Marylena Sevigney
    Visual Arts Faculty
    (603) 779-5227
    Bio
  • Karen Sobin-Jonash
    Visual Arts Faculty
    Syracuse University - MFA
  • Photo of Joseph Sywenkyj
    Joseph Sywenkyj
    Visual Arts Faculty
    (603) 779-5387
    Bio
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness, NH 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257