Visual Arts

— Madeline Wilson, Chair, Visual Arts Department"The arts offer a means of communicating thoughts and feelings that transcend the written word. The deepest human emotions and ideas can be effectively conveyed through the visual arts, drama, music, and dance. Our mission is to help students find their creative voices and hone their artistic skills through the arts, so that they can communicate their ideas and feelings.” 

Upper School Visual Arts Program

The goal of the Masters visual arts program is to have students develop the creativity, imagination, and technical skill to practice art as a vital means of self-expression. The faculty are professional artists, and our students take full advantage of New York City cultural resources to complement their classroom work.

  • Arts Lab: Visual Art
  • Studio Art: Foundations
  • Studio Art Major
  • Studio Art: Ceramics
  • Studio Art: Advanced Ceramics
  • Studio Art: Creative Multimedia
  • Studio Art: Printmaking
  • Studio Art: Advanced Printmaking
  • Studio Art: Foundations In Design
  • Studio Art: Foundations In Architecture
  • Photography Major
  • Digital Photography
  • Darkroom Photography
  • Photography II – Darkroom And Digital Processes
  • Photography III – Projects In Photography
  • Foundations in Video Production
  • Advanced Videomaking
  • Video Major
  • On Location – Hands-On Production Techniques
  • Animation and Game Design
  • Yearbook – Desktop Publishing
  • Masterpieces Senior Editorship
  • AP Studio Art
  • AP Art History


Middle School Visual Art Program

The Middle School visual arts program provides a creative environment in which students explore visual communication in two- and three-dimensional forms. They gain hands-on experience with a broad range of materials and techniques while working on projects designed to develop craft as well as cognitive skills related to thematic grade-level investigations.

Students visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to explore the ancient Egyptian and Greek Halls. A yearlong collaborative project incorporates visual art with history and creative writing. Students write scripts on ancient cultures in their humanities classes and transform their scripts into an opera in music class. In their visual arts class, they create rod puppets of their characters as well as backdrops and props, and they rehearse their performance. At the end of the school year, the students put on their original opera for their parents.

To enhance their focus on the Hudson River Valley, students study the Hudson River School of Art. They create their own watercolor landscapes inspired from photos from their field trips. Other projects include the creation of a hand-sewn quilt while studying American folk art, and designing a presentation for a site-specific sculpture at the Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park.

The seventh grade students are given the opportunity to work with the upper school art instructors as well as the middle school art teacher. They explore artistic disciplines including foundation drawing, ceramics, and digital photography. Tied in with their ongoing investigation of identity and diversity, students write an artist statement explaining the artistic choices they make in relation to their chosen essential question.

Armed with digital cameras, the students explore Philadelphia and other historic sites by taking a series of images with thoughtful content and composition in a triptych format. Back in the classroom they create a thirty-second presentation using their photos and original music they produce in their music classes. In their humanities classes, they write artist statements to explain their work as it relates to their yearlong theme of American identity. The year culminates with the students curating and displaying their own visual artworks in the Eighth Grade Arts Expo.


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49 Clinton Avenue
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(914) 479-6400

There's more to a masters mind

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