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

    Ninth Grade Art Experience is an experiential semester-long course for ninth graders. This course includes interactive activities and studio projects representing a variety of artistic styles and art media. It is designed to develop students understanding and appreciation of the arts through discovery, and creative problem solving and expression. This course is designed to provide students with a familiarity of how to use creative expression in a variety of artistic media while developing an understanding of the role of creativity in personal expression. It also provides students with a broader perception of the visual and performing arts.

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    No textbook required.
  • 2D Graphic Design

    This course is a hands-on computer 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 work with Adobe Creative Suite, focusing on Photoshop and Illustrator to develop both Raster and Vector images. 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. Students will learn the foundation of Design as a career and utilize the elements and principles of design to ensure quality outcome. This course is an opportunity for students to experience real life design career skills that allow them the opportunity to develop commissioned designs that benefit the community and display their creative skills. Lastly, students will learn to respect their own ideas and artistic expressions and those of others as they analyze and evaluate design lessons. 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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  • 3D Design - Sculpture

    This art course deals with art in its 3-Dimensional form. This is a semester long course in which a variety of mediums will be explored, which may include textiles, ceramics, paper mache’, metal wire, found objects and more. Students will participate in a wide range of experiences using additive or subtractive sculptural techniques designed to build artistic and creative confidence and to develop quality work. 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. Example lessons include, but are not limited to, figurative sculpture, found object sculpture, architectural construction, public or nature artworks, and more, dependent on student interests. 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.
  • Studio Practices

    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. Students will express their ideas by using art as a form of communication. A wide range of mediums are used in this course including, but not limited to, value pencils, charcoal, ink, cut, torn paper & found objects, water color, pastels, color pencils, and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students 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. 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.
  • Intermediate Studio Practices

    This intermediate 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. 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. 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 Studio Art

    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. 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. 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.

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

    The goal of this course is to teach photography as a visual language, with an emphasis on expression and communication. This full-year, full-credit course covers the history of photography, theories of composition and design, techniques of camera use, print development, presentation, and critical evaluation. A lighting studio equipped with electronic strobes is available to photography students for portrait and still life photography, as well as for videotaping and postproduction editing. Digital imaging and printing using Photoshop are also offered as an adjunct to analog darkroom processes. A separate darkroom for mural-scale enlarging and printing is available to advanced students. Photography is offered to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders and 9th graders by request.

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  • Advanced Photography

    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. 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. 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

    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. 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. 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

    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. 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. Course content is adjusted to the level of the class and individual students.

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

    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. Finally, students explore a variety of books and catalogs about ceramics, and see videos of famous potters.

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  • Intermediate Ceramics

    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. 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.

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    No textbook required.
  • Advanced Ceramics

    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. 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.

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    No textbook required.
  • Art History

    In this semester-long elective course students will examine and critically analyze various methods of artistic expression from around the world. There will be a special emphasis on not only the “high” fine arts of drawing, painting, sculpture and architecture, but also of various forms of “low art” including but not limited to popular film, cartoons and other forms of artistic expression with mass appeal. The essential questions driving the course focus on understanding the historiographical significance of artistic artifacts of a culture but also examine what differentiates a piece of art from a urinal on the wall. What is art and how is it made? How does art communicate and act as a record for human experience? What can we learn about a culture through its art forms? What skills and vocabulary can help us to effectively communicate about art?

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View Our Curriculum

Faculty

  • 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
  • Franz Nicolay

    Visual Arts Faculty & Director of Edwards Art Gallery
    (603) 779-5387
    Art Institute of Boston (MA) - MFA
    St. Lawrence University (NY) - BA
    Longwood High School (NY)
    Bio
  • Allison Plourde

    Visual Arts Faculty
    (603) 779-5357
    Rhode Island School of Design - MAT
    Rochester Institute of Technology - BFA
    Bio
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257