Academics
Curriculum
Expressive Arts

Visual Arts

Walk through the Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Arts Center and you’ll see students creating stories everywhere; in the studio art spaces, ceramics and photography studios, and gallery spaces. Colors, lines, angles, shapes, textures — these are the tools students use to create new images and to say what can only be said through art. View student-made art.

Visual Arts Courses

List of 16 items.

  • Studio Art I

    This studio-based course is a foundation course in art helping
    students establish creative confidence. Students gain a solid
    understanding of the formal elements and principles of art
    while learning about the many ways in which to infuse their
    work with meaning and personal vision. Assignments include
    historical and contemporary approaches to color theory and
    two-dimensional design. Students keep a daily sketchbook,
    participate in group projects and critiques, venture out on field
    trips, and complete individual projects throughout the year.
    Studio Art I emphasizes success and progress at the individual
    level, allowing students to find inspiration in the world around
    them and to communicate their voice visually.
    Prerequisite: None
    Grade Level: 9-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Studio Art II

    Students in Studio Art II continue to develop skills and
    techniques for the studio, while also strengthening their artistic
    voice and creative confidence. Students paint and draw subject
    matter such as still-life, portraiture, landscape, perspective,
    gesture, and abstract. Familiar and new media are explored
    such as charcoal, ink, watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastels, spray
    paint, digital illustration, printmaking, and collage. Historical
    and contemporary examples of art help bring perspective to
    class work. A sketchbook serves as a key component of the
    course and is used on a weekly basis for planning projects,
    experimenting with new techniques, and practicing skills. Field
    trips complement the curriculum as the class explores the local
    art community and seeks out inspiration. Through a
    combination of directed assignments, collaborative projects,
    group critiques, and independent pieces, students learn new
    skills, techniques, and concepts to find success as developing
    artists.
    Prerequisite: Studio Art I or equivalent experience. Students
    who have not taken Studio Art I must have instructor's
    approval based on 5 examples of relevant work.
    Grade Level: 10-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Studio Art III

    Studio Art III is for students who flourish when working
    independently on projects. Students propose projects for
    themselves in areas of studio art that challenge and interest
    them while also keeping them engaged at a rigorous pace.
    Some directed assignments are given to help expand students'
    skill sets and understanding of art. A sketchbook serves as a
    key component of the course and is used on a weekly basis for
    planning projects, experimenting with new techniques, and
    practicing skills. Students complete the course with a strong set
    of pieces to add to their portfolios.
    Prerequisite: Studio Art II or equivalent experience.
    Grade Level: 10-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Independent Study in Art

    This year-long or semester-long course is designed for seniors
    who have completed all the available sections applicable to
    their focus in art. An independent project/study is developed in
    collaboration with the instructor connected to a specific
    medium or area of interest. Students are encouraged to follow
    emergent ideas but are also expected to present a cohesive
    body of work at the end of each semester. Students present
    project proposals on a bi-weekly basis, set their own goals for
    growth, and demonstrate that they are able to work in a
    focused and self-directed manner. Weekly critiques are held
    with all the students in this course to discuss as a group the
    concepts and challenges related to the art-making process.
    Mid-year, each student is tasked with pulling together a
    “Review Board” - a team of people from whom they would
    like artistic advice. The student presents their current work and
    then the Review Board gives them recommendations on future
    exploration of materials and themes.
    Prerequisite: Completed Hallmark Art Intensive
    Grade Level: 12
    (1/2 credit; one semester)
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Photography I

    This year-long course introduces students to the concept of the
    photograph as a means of visual communication and as a path
    to creative confidence. Students encounter photography
    through traditional wet darkroom processes, digital techniques,
    and alternative methods. This foundational course familiarizes
    students with elements of design and composition, helping
    them develop their critical thinking skills. Photography I
    involves students with the basic mechanics of the 35mm film
    camera and the darkroom through correct exposure, film
    processing, and printing techniques. Adobe Lightroom and
    Photoshop Elements are used to digitally edit, manipulate, and
    produce archival digital prints. Students are encouraged to
    explore subject matter of interest to them, including
    portraiture, landscape, and nature photography as well as
    documentary and abstract approaches. Through a combination
    of darkroom and digital work, group projects and critiques,
    fieldtrips, and demonstrations, students gain confidence in
    their ability to communicate strong visual messages with their
    images.
    Prerequisite: None
    Grade Level: 9-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Photography II

    This year-long course is designed to continue where
    Photography I ends by building on the knowledge gained in the
    first year’s study of photography. Rigorous film and digital
    coursework encourages students to challenge themselves and
    expand beyond their comfort zone in this ever-changing
    medium. During this yearlong course, topics such as advanced
    portraiture, studio lighting, large format, and alternative
    methods are covered and regular class critiques keep members
    of the class involved with students at varying levels of
    photography coursework. In the lively environment of the
    photography lab, students begin to view their photographs
    objectively, to exchange ideas and criticisms, and to learn
    about the broader historical, social, and contemporary contexts
    of photography. During the second half of the year, students
    enrolled in Photography II are strongly encouraged to design
    dynamic and personal photographic projects that build upon
    areas they have explored in the past, and to continue
    developing their personal, creative vision.
    Prerequisite: Photography I or equivalent experience. Students
    who have not taken Photography I must have instructor’s
    approval based on 5 examples of relevant work.
    Grade Level: 10-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Photography III

    This year-long course offering is for motivated students who
    wish to pursue an individual area of interest to create a
    portfolio of personal images. Students work independently at
    the advanced level and select from an array of topics that have
    been introduced and explored in Photography I and II.
    Although students create independent projects, they are part of
    a larger group that participates in critiques, fieldtrips, and
    demonstrations on technique. This is an ideal course for a
    student who has discovered a love of photography and wishes
    to explore further in an area of interest that is unique to her. At
    the end of this course, each student has created a portfolio that
    consists of analog or digital prints in a presentation book, a
    CD, and an artist's statement.
    Prerequisite: Photography II or equivalent experience.
    Grade Level: 10-12
  • Ceramics I

    This year-long course is designed to introduce the student to
    the processes and techniques involved in the production of
    ceramic art, including construction methods, glazing, and
    firing of work. Students will learn numerous hand-building
    techniques (pinch, coil, slab, etc.), as well as gain an
    introductory experience in the use of the potter’s wheel.
    Additionally, students will be exposed to a variety of historical
    and contemporary ceramic artworks, including the sociopolitical
    issues which have shaped the history and development
    of this medium’s long and diverse history. Along with
    developing an understanding of the historic and aesthetic
    accomplishments of the past, and the formative influences on
    the contemporary ceramic artist, students will also be exposed
    to the diverse cross-cultural solutions to humanity’s need for
    utilitarian and sculptural expression.
    Prerequisite: None
    Grade Level: 9-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Ceramics II

    This year-long course is designed to build upon existing skills
    acquired in Ceramics I. Students will further explore hand
    building techniques (pinch, coil, slab, etc.), as well as the use
    of the potter’s wheel. Students will be expected to be more
    self-motivated and directed as they respond to class
    assignments. Additionally, students will be exposed to a
    variety of historical and contemporary ceramic artworks,
    including the socio-political issues which have shaped the
    history and development of this medium’s long and diverse
    history. Along with developing an understanding of the
    historic and aesthetic accomplishments of the past, and the
    formative influences on the contemporary ceramic artist,
    students will also be exposed to the diverse cross-cultural
    solutions to humanity’s need for utilitarian and sculptural
    expression. Emphasis will be placed on developing a
    functional understanding and employment of the formal
    elements and concepts of three-dimensional design. All this is
    intended to build a vocabulary of technical and aesthetic skills
    necessary for the development of individual expression.
    Formal group critiques of finished works will provide each
    student with the opportunity to form and articulate an aesthetic
    opinion, give and receive constructive criticism, and further the
    development and exchange of creative ideas.
    Prerequisite: Ceramics I or equivalent experience.
    Grade Level: 10-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Ceramics III

    Students in this year-long course have been prepared to engage
    in more self-directed objectives and avenues of aesthetic
    exploration. By working and consulting with the instructor,
    students will set goals for themselves as they pursue their
    interests in both content and methods of
    fabrication/construction. Students will be encouraged and
    expected to engage in establishing greater facility with the
    medium, deeper understanding of the principles and concepts
    of 3-dimensional design, and more purposeful exploration of
    their aesthetic ideas. Emphasis will be placed on further
    developing and displaying a functional understanding and
    employment of the formal elements and concepts of threedimensional
    design. All this is intended to further build and
    test the vocabulary of technical and aesthetic skills necessary
    for the development of individual expression. Formal group
    critiques of finished works will provide each student with the
    opportunity to form and articulate an aesthetic opinion, give
    and receive constructive criticism, and further the development
    and exchange of creative ideas.
    Prerequisite: Ceramics II or equivalent experience.
    Grade Level: 11-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Filmmaking

    In this yearlong course, students will encounter and investigate
    the basics of film creation, from beginning to end, by looking
    at classic films and iconic filmmakers’ directing styles and by
    learning the vocabulary and genres associated with this
    medium. As they work toward making their own films,
    students will practice script writing and storyboarding and will
    create shot lists and field logs. Using DSLRs, students will
    learn the basics of production including basic camera
    functions, lighting, shot types, and sound editing. In postproduction,
    students will use industry-standard video editing
    software to edit their footage and create final short films ready
    for film festival submission.
    Prerequisite: Any Expressive Arts course or permission of
    instructor
    Grade Level: 10-12
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Gallery and Arts Administration

    Students will learn about the business side of the art world in
    this one-semester, project-based class. We will visit galleries
    and museums to learn about curation, communication,
    community engagement, fundraising, selling of art, marketing,
    event planning, and collecting feedback. Students will work as
    a team to establish a mission statement for our pop-up gallery,
    serve as the jury for the selections, and producing an event for
    the opening of show in the gallery as a final semester project.
    Prerequisite: Completion of one credit in a studio art (art,
    ceramics, or photo)
    Grade Level: 10-12
    (1/2 credit; first semester)
  • Understanding Art

    Understanding Art is a general introduction to various
    strategies for identifying meaning in works of art, both
    historical and contemporary. This course will provide a
    framework for engaging with visual art and is intended to
    provide students comfort, and agency to evaluate and
    understand their visual experiences. This will encourage an
    understanding of themes and concepts found in art. It is
    important that you bring an open mind and a desire to develop
    skills of critical looking and thinking. Students will become
    familiar with formal visual analysis of works of art
    (formalism), as well as learning the contextual significance
    through exploring issues such as media, technique, the history
    of individual artists, schools, movements, periods and styles,
    cross-cultural influences, politics, religion, gender, class,
    function, etc.
    Prerequisite: None
    Grade Level: 9-12
    (1/2 credit; first semester)
  • Garment and Textile Design

    This one-semester course introduces students to the fashion
    industry. The history of clothing and fashion is studied
    together with contemporary designers and trends, and students
    gain an understanding of the greater cultural and global context
    in which everyday clothing is created. The course includes
    basic sewing skills and knowledge of sewing machines as well
    as more theoretical design and draping concepts. Students
    create mood boards, critique each other, and venture off
    campus on various field trips.
    Prerequisite: Completion of one credit in a studio art (art,
    ceramics, or photo)
    Grade Level: 10-12
    (1/2 credit; second semester)
  • Independent Study in Art

    This year-long or semester-long course is designed for seniors
    who have completed all the available sections applicable to
    their focus in art. An independent project/study is developed in
    collaboration with the instructor connected to a specific
    medium or area of interest. Students are encouraged to follow
    emergent ideas but are also expected to present a cohesive
    body of work at the end of each semester. Students present
    project proposals on a bi-weekly basis, set their own goals for
    growth, and demonstrate that they are able to work in a
    focused and self-directed manner. Weekly critiques are held
    with all the students in this course to discuss as a group the
    concepts and challenges related to the art-making process.
    Mid-year, each student is tasked with pulling together a
    “Review Board” - a team of people from whom they would
    like artistic advice. The student presents their current work and
    then the Review Board gives them recommendations on future
    exploration of materials and themes.
    Prerequisite: Completed Hallmark Art Intensive
    Grade Level: 12
    (1/2 credit; one semester)
    (1 credit; full year)
  • Hallmark Art Intensive

    In this rigorous year-long course, students from different
    studio disciplines (Ceramics, Photography, Filmmaking,
    Textile & Garment Design, and Studio Art) learn how to create
    concept-driven work and engage in sustained inquiry. The
    students will engage as a group to offer support, ideas, and
    feedback on works in process. Students will culminate the year
    by curating a solo show featuring 20 pieces that reflects their
    voice and growth as an artist.
    Elements of the course include daily instructional support on
    techniques, concept development, studio practices, time
    management, and skills related to giving and receiving
    feedback.
    There will be bi-weekly project and reflection sheet deadlines,
    and, in the spring, the final solo show will be attended by a
    “Expert Team” identified by the student and the teacher. All of
    the work from this course is ideal for a portfolio for the college
    admission process.
    Prerequisite: Application and permission from the instructor
    Grade Level: 11-12
    (1 credit; full year)

Visual Arts Photos

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Phone: (413) 443-6401

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Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Miss Hall's School is a private, college preparatory, boarding and day high school for girls grades 9-12.
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