• Berwick

Visual Arts

The goal of the visual arts curriculum is to teach students to see, reflect, and respond to the world with fresh eyes.  Teachers in all three divisions present a vibrant arts curriculum which encourages the development of each student’s personal voice and presents challenges which cultivate original thought and creative problem solving. This curriculum aims to develop the technical skills for a range of disciplines, materials and experience while providing both depth and breadth of artistic study at age appropriate stages of learning. At Berwick Academy, studio spaces are safe places where students engage in collaborative and self-directed study, learn critical thinking skills, and where students gain artistic confidence and an appreciation and understanding of art.

Upper School:
Study in the Upper School begins with the Art of Seeing, the prerequisite course which provides the foundation skills and knowledge needed for further study. Students may then explore areas of interest by choosing from a wide range of electives including studio art studies, photography, digital design and film. Students may also follow a track of study in fine arts, 2D Design or 3D Design courses leading to Studio Art Honors or AP Studio and advanced portfolio development. Upper School art students have been regionally and nationally recognized in art competitions and represented in national exhibitions.

Middle School:
The Middle School art curriculum is largely project based and is balanced both in 2D and 3D projects. Projects are designed to foster independent thinking, promote the understanding and utilization of the elements and principles of art, and to have a connection with art history. Students also have a personal sketchbook for independent work and a weekly assignment.

Lower School:
The Lower School Studio is the discovery room for artists in grades PK through four. Discoveries happen every day through teacher guided lessons and individual or group exploration. The world of art is filled with magic and spontaneity that leads to practice and skill development while manipulating tools and learning techniques. These young artists discover a new vocabulary in learning the language of art. Great masters and contemporary artists are introduced while exploring historic periods or the culture of different countries. Finally, as each young artist experiments with a process, creates a product and decides on a presentation, they learn more about themselves as artists and as people.

The Art Department has four large multi-media studios, a ceramics classroom, a wet-process dark room, and a hot room for Metalsmithing and glass.

K-12 students are selected for the Art around Campus, rotating exhibition of framed student work. Students also have the opportunity to exhibit at the gallery in the Whipple Arts Building in school-wide student exhibitions, Winterfest Art Exhibition and the Senior Arts Show.

The Jackson Library Gallery hosts various exhibitions of the work of visiting artists and alumni as well as that of our student artists. Student shows include select group shows and the annual AP Art Exhibition.
Therefore, we must be able to interpret and process the barrage of visual stimuli that exists in this twenty-first century. The visual arts not only include the fine arts of drawing, painting, sculpture and photography, etc., but also film, video, and the marketing media. Developing skills in and understanding of the visual arts provides the sequential learning experiences that will enable students to question, investigate, communicate, reason and make judgements in the absence of a rule. Utilizing the higher-order thinking skills that are an integral aspect of the visual arts present situations whereby students foster creative thinking, problem solving, self-awareness, self-confidence and social interaction. (Adapted from the Maine and New Hampshire Framework for the Arts)

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy is Maine's oldest, independent Pre-K through Post Graduate private school. Our community is dynamic, offering challenging academics, competitive athletics, and creative arts programs. Members of the community operate within a context of caring and respect as we pursue our quest for "useful knowledge" as "one school with three divisions." Students and faculty are encouraged to expand their horizons by balancing academics with athletic, dramatic, and musical options.