In the Visual Arts Department out goal is to impart in our students visual awareness and acuity.
We look, we make, and we discuss all in the pursuit of understanding the fundamental questions of life: who am I? Why am I here? Where do I come from? What is my purpose? Why do things look the way they do? What if they looked different? We place a high value on craftsmanship through revision, analysis, and a lot of hard work. Sometimes this trilogy gets short shrift in today’s fast-paced world of instant gratification, where we lose our ability for extended focus through multi-tasking. Thus, all of our classes involve some historical analysis and they all require creation in some form or another.

Even though we are not in the business of making artists, almost all of the work students do is meant for public consumption. Their work is seen, critiqued, and evaluated; people respond to their work and in return students evaluate the responses. This public discourse is challenging, but it results in growth and stretching which is especially important in the development of mind, body and soul. Moving through our curriculum in a logical progression from foundational courses that set the stage, then building upon that foundation in advanced electives, allows students to develop at an appropriate level.

To lift a line from Gladiator- “what we do in life echoes in eternity;” we are invested in the process of looking at those echoes and we are trying to make a few of our own. Ars Longus, Vita Brevis (art is long, life is short) - Lawrenceville is honored to maintain this long lasting and important tradition.

Explore Our Courses

  • IN564 - Honors Art History: Athens, Rome, Constantinople/Istanbul

    The Classical World and the emergence of Monotheism as a dominant force. This course will begin in Classical Greece and Move through Rome to Constantinople until it reverts to Istanbul.
    Polytheism gives way to monotheism on a relatively swift and sweeping scale. Why and how does this happen? Using art and architecture as the entry we will investigate what gives rise to civilization, governance and the organization of people. Is art a mirror that reflects societal interests? or is it a hammer that shapes them? The course will be informed by selected readings; most images will be accessed electronically. Learning how to write about the art and the context surrounding it will be a major component of the course. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary 1IN/1VA Cr.; Terms: T1; Forms: IV or V Prereqs: Must have completed two courses in any of the arts and Department permission
  • IN565 - Honors Art History: The High Renaissance-Genius at Work

    Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Brunelleschi and Bramante all walked a narrow patch of earth in Italy at the same time. What gave rise to this well spring of genius? Are their widely different personalities reflected in their art? Did their legacy influence what followed? This course will begin with the Gothic Spirit and continue through Mannerism and into the early Baroque. Selected readings will be employed and most images will be accessed electronically. Writing about the artists, their art and the context surrounding them will be major components of the course. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary 1IN/1VA Cr.; Terms: T2; Forms: IV or V Prereqs: Must have completed two courses in any of the arts and Department permission
  • IN566 - Honors Art History: Cogito Ergo Sum

    Did an Age of excess give rise to the Enlightenment? “Man is born free yet everywhere he is in chains,” Rousseau’s quote may be as appropriate today as it was in the late 18th Century. How did artists respond to and influence post Enlightenment thinking; that ripple continues today, Beginning in the late Baroque with a close examination of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism this course will also zoom forward to the 21st Century looking for parallels and responses in the art of painting and architecture and the culture from which they emerge.  Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary 1IN/1VA Cr.; Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V Prereqs: Must have completed two courses in any of the arts and Department permission
  • IN568 - Design For Social Change

    Design-thinking is a user-oriented process that utilizes concepts found in both art and engineering to develop solutions that have the potential to impact individuals, communities, and societies. In Design for Social Change, students take on the role of design-thinkers, identifying and solving problems through a discrete process that includes deep observation, imagination, creativity, prototyping, and iteration. Focused on the intersection of art and engineering, we examine the foundational concepts of both fields and consider design-thinking as the domain where these two disciplines overlap. As students learn how to solve problems through design and work on projects relevant to our community, they engage in discourse on the potential of solving real-world problems with an interdisciplinary approach. In the past, projects have ranged from improving campus dining services, redesigning and repurposing what we recycle in our community, creating new learning environments in our classrooms, strengthening student involvement and participation in school events and traditions, and implementing lasting programs that impact all areas of student life, including social life, arts, athletics, academics and the house system. Additionally, students read and discuss Change by Design by Tim Brown, a leader in the design-thinking movement. Projects range from collaborative enterprises designed by small student groups, as well as individual inventions and interactive presentations, whose goals are to implement designed solutions to make a short or long-term impact on our community. Students are eligible if they have completed their graduation requirement for the arts in any of the three arts disciplines. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary; 1IN Cr.; Terms: T1; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: Completion of arts requirement.
  • VA200 - Foundations Of Art I

    This two-term course introduces students to the principles and processes employed by visual artists. The overarching emphasis will be on seeing clearly and creating interesting visual solutions to specific challenges. Course units in the first term will include: The Creative Process, Line, Volume, Perspective, and Color. Through critique and revision ideas will be refined and improved. Everyone can make images; the goal of the course will be to refine that process in order to make more informed decisions. Work in this class is foundational in nature and it will inform all aspects of a student's education, especially in areas that require design, planning, analysis of results and creative thinking. The second term will focus on the development of drawing skills. This course is a prerequisite for all other electives within the department. A $50 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T2 and T3; Forms: II
  • VA300 - Foundations Of Art

    This single term course is similar to VA200 and is available to III, IV, and V Form; it introduces students to the principles and processes employed by visual artists. The overarching emphasis will be on seeing clearly and creating interesting visual solutions to specific challenges. Course units will include: The Creative Process, Line, Volume, Perspective, and Color. Through critique and revision ideas will be refined and improved. Everyone can make images; the goal of the course will be to refine that process in order to make more informed decisions. Work in this class is foundational in nature and it will inform all aspects of a student's education, especially in areas that require design, planning, analysis of results and creative thinking. This course is a prerequisite for all other electives within the department. A $50 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: III or IV or V
  • VA301 - Drawing

    This course will teach you how to see with greater depth and clarity than you might imagine. Students will be introduced to observation based techniques in order to create illusionistic, realistic drawings. By the end of the term students will have generated several portfolio quality drawings and be prepared for more advanced work within the department. Drawing serves as a prerequisite for painting. A $30 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: III or IV or V; Prereqs: VA200 or VA300
  • VA302 - Design

    This course explores pictorial composition and the visual expression of ideas through various two dimensional media. Media explored will be cut paper, gouache paint, computer design and others. Much of the work will be flat and graphic and not based on observational drawing. A $30 lab fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: III or IV or V; Prereqs: VA200 or VA300
  • VA303 - Video Journalism

    Video Journalism combines the skill of capturing a moment, with that of visual storytelling. It is about effective communication and the crafting of stories worth sharing. Early classes will focus on composition skills with close consideration for what it takes to create shots that are impactful. Storytelling will be explored in detail through the use of storyboarding—the development of ideas through brainstorming and discussion. As foundational skills fall into place we will begin development of shooting and editing skills and learn about the powerful digital tools that can transform an idea into a finished video. Students will develop an understanding for the importance of rhythm and pacing as they get hands on with professional editing software Adobe Premiere and iMovie. Studio shooting and green screen use will be explored. Students will embed themselves in the study of video journalism and learn just what it takes to find and craft a story. At the end of the course, each student will have produced a series of high quality video edits that relate directly to their Lawrenceville experience. The content they create will be broadcast in our highly popular video news show. Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: III or IV or V; Prereqs: VA200 or VA300
  • VA401 - Painting

    Painting, an introduction to the properties of paint as a means of visual communication through landscape and still life; this course will emphasize working from observation in natural light and requires previous acquisition of drawing skills. Most of the work will be done in oil based alkyd paints but other media will be explored. A $50 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: III or IV or V; Prereqs: VA200 or VA300 AND VA301 (or Department Approval)
  • VA402 - Watercolor

    A beginning course in transparent watercolor painting with an emphasis on landscape work. Drawing skills are essential to this type of work. A $50 course fee will be charged to cover course materials. Terms: T3; Forms: III or IV or V; Prereqs: VA301
  • VA410 - Architecture

    An investigation of the way buildings are designed and built; this course combines images and walking tours with practical studio work. Students will examine buildings from the past as they complete creative projects of their own. A $30 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: VA301 or VA302
  • VA412 - Ceramics I

    This course explores design solutions in clay. Students will be introduced to throwing on the wheel, glazing, surface design and the art of raku firing. The development of skills as well as a creative voice will be emphasized. Contemporary as well as historic examples of ceramic design will be studied in order to more fully understand the rich heritage of this storied medium. A $50 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: VA301 or VA302
  • VA414 - Photography I

    This course will introduce students to the power of images. An introduction to the history of photography and the deep reservoir of images that permeates our lives and informs all images that we make will empower students to make stronger images on their own. Learning to use the camera and the print to manipulate and communicate will be the primary focus of the course. No previous experience is expected other than our foundation course. Most images will be stored electronically; power point presentations and final digital prints will serve as springboards for critique. A lab fee will be charged to subsidize the paper/ink/cameras provided by the department. Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: VA301, VA302 or VA303
  • VA422 - Ceramics II

    This course builds on the technical instruction of Ceramics I. Having had the necessary ceramics foundation in the previous class, the experiences in this visual arts course will allow the serious, dedicated ceramics student to develop an individual style on the wheel. A $50 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: VA412
  • VA424 - Photography II

    This course is a continuation of the Photography I class with a concentration on advanced printing techniques and the development of a personal voice. A 35-mm camera with full manual control of shutter speed and f/stop must be provided by the student. A lab fee will be charged to subsidize materials provided by the department. A $50 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Terms: T2 or T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: VA414
  • VA430 - Filmmaking: Sight & Sound

    Through the analysis of short films and classic features, instruction in the essential principles of dramatic writing, camera operation, production, direction and editing techniques, students develop a basic competence in practicing filmmaking. Each student produces "exercise films" which lay the groundwork for final projects, which will be displayed at an end-of term film festival. Through Sight & Sound, students gain an appreciation for the collaborative nature of film and the requisite skill needed to convert dramatic concepts into final cuts. On the first day of class, students must present story treatments for their final projects. Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: VA200 or VA300
  • VA501 - Advanced Studio

    This course is for serious and self-motivated art students who have moved through our elective offerings and/or are interested in preparing an advanced placement portfolio for submission in May. Various media will be explored. Must meet prerequisites and complete at least two other electives in the Visual Arts department. A $50 fee will be applied to cover course materials. Grants: Honors; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: VA200 or VA300 and two other studio courses. Department permission also required.
  • VA599 - Ind. Study: Visual Arts

    Students with special interests they wish to explore outside the regular program of courses may apply to drop one course for one term and use the time for independent study. This may involve research or creative work; normally it will culminate in a paper, exhibit, or performance of some kind. Work in such projects is treated exactly like work in regular courses: a final grade is given; students must meet regularly (at least once a week) with their advisor; they must have tangible progress to report at each meeting. Grants: Honors; Terms: All; Forms: All Prereqs: Department Approval

Our Faculty

Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.