Lower School

The Lower School visual arts program emphasizes art-making and the creative process. Direct physical engagement with media such as clay, papier-mâché, wood, and found materials is a key component of the program. Nueva teachers and students celebrate inquiry, experimentation, exploration, and personal expression within a flexible and evolving project-based structure. As students develop skills, they incorporate observation, invention, collaboration, and storytelling into their work. Students have freedom to experiment with a wide variety of materials to creatively achieve their vision.

Projects are often linked to other classwork through team teaching and integrated curriculum. Students develop increasing levels of expertise in these six areas:

  • Concentration
  • Cooperation
  • Confidence
  • Technique
  • Expression
  • Intention

Middle School

The Middle School Visual Arts program and art electives provide opportunities for students to continue developing their artistic skills while gaining exposure to newer media and alternative processes. Students are challenged to generate multiple ideas and solutions, develop and use higher-level thinking skills, and expand their awareness of art and design in everyday tools and techniques.

Students learn about art history and are also introduced to contemporary artists' practices. In addition, they have the opportunity to engage with visiting artists who present their own work and assist with student projects. The art program builds on goals, work, and techniques from Lower School. Students continue to see themselves as capable artists with specific skills and develop a lifelong passion for the arts as a language of expression and discovery.

Upper School

The integration of tools, techniques, and technologies helps develop both fluency and unique ways to think about the world. By working with various materials, students learn diverse approaches to studio arts and develop an appreciation of historical masterpieces. Courses emphasize students' technical understanding, practice, and innovation in their pieces.

Upper School visual arts electives include architecture, drawing, mixed media, graphic design, sculptural ceramics, and more.