“I have always been passionate about drawing and visual arts and never imagined I’d have as many opportunities as I had at Park. The arts department offers a balance of instruction and autonomy to explore your own style of art, and there is such versatility in the class offerings. The faculty was always supportive and constantly encouraged me to expand my horizons. During my junior year, I proposed to do an Independent Study in animation. Both the department and administration were supportive and I am grateful to have had that time to explore my passion as one of my classes.”
— Jayme Brodie ’17
Maryland Institute College of Art
At Park, the arts are an essential part of our daily lives. They frame our experience of the world, serve as vehicles for personal expression, and enhance our exploration of history, culture, and heritage. Our students experience the arts as painters, actors, dancers, and musicians, as audience members, critics, and teachers. Art is often part of teaching and learning in other subjects. Art is everywhere in the school.
In Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, a sequenced and developmental program in visual and performing arts emphasizes expression, design thinking, creativity, and skill mastery. In the Upper School, the arts program provides opportunities for advanced study and accomplishment in several art disciplines.
Special programs and performances connect our community with professional artists. An Exhibitions Program brings the work of visiting artists of national reputation to the school each year. Students in all grades meet and work with local and national artists, create works of art that address similar themes, and hang their pieces in a complementary exhibition.
Residencies and assemblies, along with trips to museums, theaters, concert halls, and studios provide additional opportunities for students to learn from visual artists, musicians, dancers, and actors.
The Wyman Arts Center houses facilities for performing and visual arts for all divisions. This 3-story, 44,500 square foot facility includes:
Visual Arts: one 60-75-minute class per week Music: two classes per week (Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and an instrumental music exploratory)
Co-curricular Opportunities: Chorus, Strings, Jazz Band, Soundwaves (Grades 4 and 5); Concert Band (Grade 5 only); vocal and instrumental music (after-school group lessons and individual lessons)
Faculty: two full-time and three part-time music and art teachers
Grades 6 and 7—Visual Arts and Theater in semester rotation; classes meet three times per week. Music ensembles (Chorus, Concert Band, and Strings) meet twice a week all year
Grade 8—Visual Arts, Music, Movement, and Theater electives; students elect one course per semester, which meets four times per week
Co-curricular Opportunities: Advanced Chorus, Band, Jazz, and String Ensembles, vocal and instrumental lessons
Faculty: two full-time and six part-time music, art, and theater teachers
Four semesters are required for graduation.
Visual Arts Electives
Art History, Ceramics, Contemporary Craft, Drawing, Design Thinking, Digital Photography, Figure Drawing, Film, Graphic Design, Junior Portfolio, Painting, Photography, Online Design, Metalwork, Sculpture, Senior Portfolio, Surface Design, 21st Century Makers, and Woodworking
Performing Arts Electives
Accelerated Music Theory, Acoustics, Acting, Advanced Acting, Audio Production, Beatz, Directing, Eightnotes, Electronics for Musicians, Ethnomusicology, Guitar and Ukelele, Improv, Keyboarding, Modern Music Band, Movement Matters, Music and Film, Music Performance, Music Technology, Park Jazz Collective, Parksingers, Rhythm Workshop, Set Design, Shakespeare, String Ensemble, Theatrical Productions (fall, winter, and spring), Vocal Chords, and Wind Ensemble
Faculty: five full-time and six part-time music, art, movement/dance, and theater teachers
“At Park, my passions for singing and arranging music were sparked by the accelerated Music Theory class and my membership in Vocal Chords, one of Park’s a cappella groups. It was there, working with a devoted and talented faculty who really knew me, that I gained the confidence and stamina to balance my academic studies with my music. At the University of Pennsylvania, I performed in the a cappella group, Off The Beat. Over four years, I arranged several songs, recorded albums, and helped our group reach the semi-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Because of my time at Park, I was able to achieve that same balance at Penn and felt well prepared to thrive as a college student, continuing to grow both as a scholar and as a musician..”
— Alex Kalvar ’15
University of Pennsylvania
More than 85% of Upper School students are enrolled in arts classes or programs annually
More than 40% of Upper School students are involved in music performance groups and drama productions
Arts Program is directed by full-time Director of Arts
Students are accepted to nationally recognized arts colleges, theater programs, and music conservatories, including Berklee College of Music, California College of the Arts, Carnegie Mellon, Cooper Union, Eastman School of Music, MICA, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Northwestern University, Oberlin Conservatory, RISD, Royal Academy of Music, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Temple University, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, and Yale