Visual Arts

The focus of the Visual Arts program is to give students time for creative discovery. As a vehicle for self-expression, they learn skills in a number of artistic media including drawing, painting, two-dimensional design, sculpture, digital photography, animation, and graphic design. Student work is publicly showcased around the school and throughout the year in the annual art show, the school calendar, and in various student publications.

York Prep students have been accepted to the following prestigious arts colleges:

  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • University of Miami School of Architecture
  • Parsons School of Design
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Pratt Institute
  • Chapman University
  • Tisch School of the Arts at New York University
  • Cooper Union School of Art
At York Prep, art classes for the sixth through eighth grades allow time for creative exploration. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to tap into their fanciful, imaginative sides, using artistic media as a vehicle for self-expression. In the upper school, the curriculum in the visual arts provides an important aesthetic outlet for adolescents.

Studio lessons focus on the basic elements of art (line, color, shape, form, mass, texture, and value) and the basic principles of design (repetition, balance, emphasis, contrast, and unity). Projects emerge within an art historical context, enabling students to develop their ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate qualities of visual form and to apply those qualities to their own work. Linking studio projects to recognized movements or periods in art history enhances the students’ knowledge and understanding of the role of art in society, underscores the unique nature and qualities of art, and illustrates how people make judgments about art.

Ninth and 10th grade students at York Prep explore a number of artistic media including drawing, painting, two-dimensional design, sculpture, graphic design, photography, and film animation. Juniors and seniors can elect to participate in a portfolio art class to prepare a portfolio for acceptance to an art school. Projects are largely student-initiated and work is self-directed.

Additionally, participation in the studio art program

  • affords students familiarity with a wide range of materials, tools, equipment, and techniques
  • provides exposure to traditions of craftsmanship, particularly regarding respect for materials
  • fosters the development of such valuable personal qualities including patience, persistence, and constructive self-criticism
  • promotes inquiry into artists’ motivations and of their contributions to society
    • Clockwise, from back left: Karl Hartman, Gary Schwartz, Shoshana Spencer, Lindsey Young