by: Emily '23
My name is Emily Stollof, and I am a junior at Oldfields School. I came to Oldfields as a mid-year student during my eighth-grade year, and one of the main classes I was interested in immersing myself in was a visual arts class. At Oldfields, we have many visual and performing arts classes and opportunities. Not only did I discover my passion for drawing and painting during my time in the visual arts program, I also found a hidden passion of mine by trying ceramics for the first time.
I would have never expected to enjoy doing ceramics or theater, but thanks to Oldfields and the teachers caring about helping each student succeed, I opened my mind to trying new activities even if I was initially convinced I wouldn’t enjoy them. The Oldfields faculty, no matter what department you are in, is focused on “Each student's success.” To me, it's beneficial how every student, no matter what grade, has the same opportunity to take part in classes and activities that they would like. The Arts Department makes visual and performing arts electives that create an environment for students to work outside their comfort zones, while also supporting every student's personal ideas for success. Some art classes that we offer include ceramics, studio art, painting, dance, theater, and other electives that can be brought into the curriculum if enough students are interested.
Our Visual Arts Program
The Visual Arts program currently includes drawing, painting, and ceramics. These classes also have different levels of difficulty to them, so there is a level that you can feel confident in. With the new schedule this year, there are also more opportunities to take semester classes, so that you aren't required to take the same class for the duration of the year if you chose not to. For me, the semester classes work well because I enjoy change of scenery and exploring different mediums, so having these amazing opportunities through the Oldfields Visual Arts Program has been beneficial to my personal growth and learning. If visual arts isn’t for you, then you're in luck, because we offer performing arts classes as well as after-school programs.
Performing Arts Program
At Oldfields, there are seemingly limitless ways to express oneself through dance. In addition to master workshops given throughout the year, dancers can enroll in jazz, hip-hop, and ballet classes. Other alternatives include After-School Dance, which fulfills the sports requirement, and the award-winning Oldfields Dance Company, which performs at a variety of on- and off-campus events. Every student, from beginners to advanced, finds a joyous space to shine at Oldfields, as is the hallmark of an Oldfields experience.
If dance isn’t quite your thing, then there are many theater opportunities both during the day as a class and as an after-school activity. The Oldfields Theatre Program is a fantastic way to learn everything there is to know about putting on a theatrical play, including acting, set and costume design, and stage management. A variety of comedies, dramas and, of course, musicals provide several possibilities to perform throughout the year, whether you merely want to dip your toe in the water or burst on stage as the lead.
What is the Purpose of Arts Education?
Learners in the visual and performing arts are taught about topics such as color, perspective, balance, technique, public speaking, performance, and much more. This is especially beneficial for students who might not otherwise be engaged in class and are looking to learn art skills no matter what arts class you take.
Students also learn to critically reflect on their own experiences, respond to the work of artists and designers, and expand their own arts knowledge and performance experience. Through art, dance, and theater, each student is able to further express personal views, create visual images from one's imagination, or perform in front of the broader community.
Arts Day/Visual Arts Showcase
As a school, we try to dedicate ourselves to showing the progress of both visual and performing arts and commemorating each student’s efforts through showcases throughout the school year. I believe that success in art is just as important as other academic successes. In these showcases, the community can see a variety of performances on stage in the school theater while the visual arts department also sets up artwork in the gallery for display for the school to see.
For me, I enjoy walking into the gallery and not only seeing my own art, but also seeing the art of my fellow classmates. I love how everyone’s pieces of art are so unique. The uniqueness that you see with each student’s creativity remind me that at Oldfields, we pride ourselves on celebrating how different we all are and how those difference make the school such a unique and special place to be a part of.