Fine Arts

Philosophy

Browning has long sought to provide boys with a balanced and culturally enriched educational experience, and the arts play a major role in that endeavor. Academic courses, which 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 skills one uses in finding expression through the arts. To this end, students set their hands to drawing, painting, sculpture and related media, and display their works in school exhibits, publications, and in collaboration with theatrical performances and academic projects.

The Arts Program

Grades Five and Six
These courses are devoted to enhancing each student’s creativity, technical ability and work ethic, while at the same time teaching the elements of good design and composition. Boys are provided with a variety of media for both two and three-dimensional exploration. Activities within each unit include drawing, painting, printmaking, construction, ceramics and papier maché. Each unit is broken into phases designed to improve the understanding of the individual elements and principles of the process. Content for these units is informed by the inclusion of visual aids and imagery produced by historically significant as well as contemporary artists. There are also a number cross-curricular components which further enrich the program.

Forms I and II
The Form I and II art courses are designed to be more sophisticated as boys have more room for exploration and development of individual ideas. The Form I boys derive their content through a survey of historical art movements including Ancient art, Impressionism, Cubism and Abstract Painting. The related projects include ceramic sculpture and acrylic painting. The second semester focuses on developing an understanding of linear perspective and how it relates to observational drawing and spatial depth. The boys finish the year working with clay and designing their own car. Boys in Form II focus on sculpture with an emphasis on form and content. They are taken through a series of steps designed to develop their skill using clay, armature building and sculpting with plaster. Each student creates a ceramic hand from observation. Students spend the second half of the semester creating a large sculpture inspired by Claes Oldenberg from a variety of materials. Frequent critiques are a major component and are meant to develop critical thinking skills.