Visual Arts at Oldfields
A Focus on Artistic Discovery and Process
The Fine Arts have long been an essential part of an Oldfields education, starting when art study was taught by the school's founder, Anna Austen McCulloch in the late 19th century. In following with the School's philosophy, Oldfields seeks to foster the creative potential in every student through a dynamic and diverse fine arts program.
Oldfields boasts course offerings in drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, applied design, and the digital arts. The School's excellent art facilties include expansive, naturally-lit art studios, a wet darkroom, and a state-of-the-art digital lab that provides each student the opportunity to work with the latest design software. Each devoted and talented fine arts faculty member is a practicing professional artist.
Each year, Oldfields graduates apply to and are accepted at the nation's top art schools, such as the Rhode Island School of Design, Maryland Institute College of Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Art Institute, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Oldfields has produced generations of prominent and career artists as well students whose career choice lies elsewhere, but whose Oldfields experience is enriched by her new discovery of the fine arts.
The main focus is on artistic discovery and process. A true artist is one who is completely in tune with her artistic process. At Oldfields we are mindful of this step in a young artist's development. This supportive environment has resulted in remarkable interest - more than 60% of current Oldfields students are enrolled in Fine Arts courses.
Fine Arts courses are academically challenging, and all incorporate art history and critique as part of the syllabus. Honors courses are also offered and prepare advanced students for the AP exam in visual arts or to prepare a portfolio of advanced work. There are written assignments in addition to studio work. Student work is displayed anonymously, and advanced students curate a gallery show of their own body of work. The goal is to provide a full immersion into the fine arts.
Each year, the Fine Arts and Performing Arts departmenst host Arts Week, five days of fine arts and performing arts workshops and demonstrations for the whole school, featuring performances by practicing artists, professional dance and performace troupes. All students can elect to participate in the Art & Design Club, an active co-curricular offering that meets weekday afternoons. Students also produce Tidbit, the annual art and literary magazine, which showcases the diverse and incredible talents of Oldfields students.
There are numerous cross-disciplinary opportunities with other departments; for example, students can design costumes and programs for theatrical productions. Oldfield is always developing school-wide community art activities that involve the entire student body.
For almost 150 years, Oldfields has developed students' creativity and expression as part of a full life. Talented student artists are provided with vast opportunties and skills for further study. For all Oldfields students, we hope to provide the fundamental building blocks for a lifelong interest in the arts.