Browning has long sought to provide boys with a balanced and culturally enriched educational experience, and the arts have played a major role in that endeavor. Academic courses that assure a certain level of competence in the history and critical analysis of art and music are a required part of the curriculum. However, it is equally important to foster a deeper appreciation for the arts that may not be found in the confines of the traditional classroom. To this end, students working in the art studios set their hands to drawing, painting, sculpture, and related media, and display their work in school exhibits and publications. Browning choirs and instrumental groups perform at various assemblies and concerts, and individual student musicians are encouraged to perform. Theatrical performances by all age groups are mounted for assemblies and evening productions, and often the energies and talents of school artists, musicians, and thespians are pulled together into one, unifying effort. In addition, professionals are invited to Browning to share their experiences in the arts. These guest lecturers include talented alumni who return to share their expertise and nurture a new generation of Browning students.
The Visual Arts Program
Form IV Foundation in Art I
This one-trimester course is required for boys in Form IV. The goal is to expand students’ artistic abilities by having them explore a variety of techniques, with emphasis on drawing and 2-D design. Students learn two-point perspective and make drawings using pencil and ink in the form of pens and brush. Drawing from observation follows using the pencil, ink, color pencil, and chalk.
Form IV Foundation in Art II
During this elective, students work on three-dimensional projects using the human head as a theme. The anatomy of a skull and face are observed and students then make portraits or heads using various media. The first is a wire sculpture of a head with “base” to support it. Following this, students carve a head from wax and in the end clay is used to create a portrait or a character.
Studio Art I—Drawing
Students investigate different drawing materials and techniques, including graphite, charcoal, pen, and ink. Emphasis is placed on control and intentionality of mark making along with accurate observation. Drawing projects include landscape in Central Park, still life, grayscales, and a self-portrait. A traditional approach to these subjects is introduced and students are encouraged to express themselves in a way that reflects their thinking.
Studio Art II—Painting
This elective is offered to Form VI students who wish to explore the skills and basic techniques involved in traditional acrylic and watercolor painting. The types of painting studied include landscape, still life, and portraiture. The class works from life as well as photographic resources.
Studio Art—Ceramics I and II
This course gives the students the opportunity to learn and explore the skills involved in working on the pottery wheel, as well as different handbuilding techniques. Different forms are explored and students are encouraged to add a creative interpretation to traditional shapes.