Arts

Pingree students think creatively and continuously break through the bounds of their creative imaginations. They fully embrace visual and performing arts, discover fresh perspectives on the human experience and most of all, enjoy the artistic process.

Arts Faculty

Our arts faculty members are talented, practicing artists with a gift for inspiring and mentoring students. As a department, we are dedicated to honing the young artist’s technical and practical skills, as well as celebrating the power and wonder of imagination. Our approach to art is rich with humor, empathy, and an awareness of the interconnectedness of the arts with the world at large.

Arts Facilities

Construction on Pingree’s Center for Visual and Performing Arts was completed in 2015. The state-of-the-art campus center covers two floors and houses the Mary Weld Theater (capacity: 400), ceramic and dance studios, photography labs, a theater scene shop, instrumental and choral recital rooms, a digital music lab, practice and rehearsal spaces, a recording studio, and a control booth. Each classroom is wired to a central control room with the same software and equipment used in professional recording studios.

Arts Courses


Visual Arts

Freshman Arts Program

All first-year students participate in the Freshman Arts program that includes a rotation through each visual and performing art discipline. Courses include Artist Bookmaking, Ceramics, Dance, Drawing, Music, Photography, Printmaking, Public Speaking, Technical Theater, and Theater Arts. We will examine the elements, vocabulary, and technical skills involved in each discipline and discover the concepts that interconnect all creative art forms. Students will learn respect for the intellectual aspects of the arts and will also explore the creativity and different perspectives that are necessary to develop one’s unique, creative voice through a variety of artistic media.

Drawing

In this trimester-long course, students have the opportunity to expand their understanding of drawing methods and materials. Concepts of line, value, and composition are reinforced as students develop their sense of individual expression. Students are introduced to drawing media such as pencil, charcoal, and ink, and to the ways in which artists have used drawing as a tool across centuries and today.

Painting

This trimester-long course offers a chance for students to focus on developing painting skills using primarily water based media, including watercolor and acrylics. Students observe and discuss the work of historically significant and contemporary painters alongside a series of guided painting projects. This course is a great opportunity for students to gain an understanding of color theory and value, and to continue honing their observational skills.

Alternative Drawing and Painting

This trimester-long course enables students to test the limits of drawing and painting methods and materials as they expand their work. Students will be encouraged to take an inventive approach to drawing and painting as they study the artwork and artists who have altered the definitions of these media. Prerequisite: One trimester of Drawing or Painting.

Advanced Drawing and Painting

Advanced Drawing and Painting is an advanced level one trimester course offered in the fall. This course offers students who have previous studio art experience an opportunity to delve deeper into the technical and expressive elements of drawing and painting. It is a great opportunity to bring your work to the next level and begin developing a portfolio. This course may be linked to Advanced Studio Art (two trimester course) in the winter and spring. Material demonstrations in drawing and painting will be ongoing throughout the course

Advanced Studio Art

Advanced Studio Art offers students who have previous art experience a chance to develop their artwork in a guided yet independent direction. Discussion of issues in contemporary art such as identity and social action are built into the curriculum as students examine the work and processes of today’s artists. Material demonstrations in drawing, painting, and printmaking will be ongoing throughout the course. Students in Advanced Studio Art are encouraged to create a portfolio of their artwork and will be asked to maintain an active sketchbook practice.

Ceramics I: Handbuilding

Clay is the medium used to create personally expressive as well as functional pottery. Students will be introduced to the extruders and slab roller and will explore the techniques of hand building: slab, coil, pinch and the use of plaster hump and slump molds.

Ceramics I: Wheel

In this course students will be introduced to the process of wheel throwing in ceramics. They will focus on the wheel as a tool that can be used to produce a variety of vessel forms such as cylinders. mugs, bowls, vases, pitchers and teapots. Wheel throwing techniques will be explored in relation to ceramic art historically and their place in the world of contemporary art.

Ceramics II

An advanced clay class for students who have completed a previous trimester course in Ceramics (beyond freshman year). The approach to creative work will be more challenging and independent and involve both handbuilding (Tri 1) and wheel work (Tri 2) and both wheel and handbuilding in Tri 3. Assigned projects will deal with building on basic skills, creative thought, personal reflection and will include the study of ceramic artists and various cultural approaches to clay work. There may be a service component to this class, depending on the trimester.


Functional Ceramics

This full-credit course will be a more introductory variation of advanced Ceramics 2, that meets during Trimester 3. Students will focus on wheel throwing and handbuilding basics to create practical, original tableware, sets and more challenging lidded forms.

Photography I

This course is designed to give the student a foundation in the art of film and digital photography. During trimester one students learn how to use the camera, apply systems of exposure, process film, print their negatives in the darkroom and present finished work. Second trimester emphasizes the computer as a digital darkroom including scanning and Photoshop software. Presentations of historical and contemporary photographers as well as class critiques are included in the course. Must take both trimesters 1 and 2.

Photography II

This is a course for more advanced photography students who have completed both the darkroom and digital sections of Photography 1 Students will be expected to take creative risks and work independently on projects of their own design. In addition, there will be class assignments that build on skills learned in previous photography classes and work on conceptual themes and finding a personal voice.

Alternative Photography

Darkroom Projects:
Pinhole, Cyanotypes, and Handmade Negatives
This course is a unique approach to darkroom photography using uncommon photographic methods. First, students will each make two cameras from boxes and other unconventional enclosures to use in pinhole photography We will move on to exploring the cyanotype process, a simple sun printing process invented in 1842 that includes making our own printing paper, exposing to the sun, and developing in water. We will finish by creating handmade negatives using glass, ink, and smoke for use in darkroom printing.

Color Projects:
Altered image and Photo Books
Students will work on non-traditional photo projects from their own digital photographs in the lab and classroom. Creative assignments will include making a pop-up book and other 3d book forms, cutting and combining images, altering photographs with paint, and assembling photographic images into a sculptural form.

Advanced Photo: Portfolios

This advanced level class will be devoted to making 2-3 separate photography portfolios or bodies of work. These will be concentrated studies on a particular theme and may include, for seniors, editing a photo portfolio of all work for college submission. The last portfolio will be a group portfolio which will include a piece of work from every student printed in multiples to present to each member of the class.

Printmaking: Relief and Intaglio

This course builds on students’ experiences in the Freshman Printmaking rotation by exploring projects that incorporate two types of printmaking processes. Intaglio prints are created using ink that sits in a scratched or etched surface of a printing plate. Conversely, relief printing is a process where the surface of a block holds ink and recessed areas are ink free.These two printing techniques hold many possibilities for artists and can be combined to create beautiful prints. Material demonstrations, as well as integration of printmaking vocabulary and history will be ongoing in this one trimester course.

Printmaking: Painterly Prints

This course gives students who enjoy painting and working in color the opportunity to explore the medium of printmaking and the ways in which it intersects with painting. Emphasis will be placed on the process of creating monotypes and using watercolor, acrylics, and gouache to alter hand-pulled prints.

Printmaking: Screenprinting

Pop Art, T-Shirts, Stencils, and Posters are formats in which screen printing is visible in the world around us. This class introduces students to the methods and materials of screen printing and its’ variety of applications in both art and design. Students in screen printing will also have the opportunity to create posters and signage for practical applications at Pingree.

Sculpture

This course gives students the opportunity to work with and combine a variety of sculpture materials including but not limited to clay, wire, and paper mache as they build their sense of personal expression. An emphasis will be placed on the study of shape and form, and students will be encouraged to experiment with new materials and to take an inventive approach to art-making.


Digital Art

This course gives students the opportunity to create art digitally. An emphasis will be placed on learning to use the powerful program adobe photoshop to explore photo collaging, digital drawing, and painting. The class will also cover the ways in which traditional art making techniques can be fused with digital ones.

H-Drawing and Painting: Portraiture

Using portraiture as subject matter, this course is a study of the basic elements and principles of drawing and painting. Using examples in art history as a guide, students will complete multiple portrait drawings and/or paintings. Assignments will vary by trimester and students are encouraged to take the course multiple times. Students will be guided and encouraged to explore and take risks with materials and ideas.

H-Drawing and Painting: Landscape

Using landscape as subject matter, this course is a study of the basic elements and principles of drawing and painting. Using examples in art history as a guide, students will complete multiple landscape drawings and/or paintings. Assignments will vary by trimester and students are encouraged to take the course multiple times. Students will be guided and encouraged to explore and take risks with materials and ideas.

H-Ceramics: Exploring Surface Techniques in Clay

In this class students will form hand built (coil, slab, pinch) or wheel thrown clay pots, on which we will experiment with a variety of additive and subtractive decorating methods. Sgraffito, image transfer, carving, relief, stamping, slip trailing and piercing, are some of the ways students will create interesting textural surfaces that may convey emotion or tell a story. Prerequisites: Freshman Art (Ceramics) or equivalent.

H-Yearbook

Students in this class will develop the skills required to communicate ideas and information, reflecting various aspects of the 2017-2018 Pingree school year. They will be involved in the production of layouts, photographs, graphic design (use of the online page design website) and digital imaging. Students will be assigned specific pages to complete and will be involved in theme development and cover design for the 2016 yearbook, "Gadfly".

H-Sculpture: Mask and Monsters

Students in this class will create a Monster! Beginning with small sketches and ending with a finished sculpture in clay. Students will then make a life size mask of their Monster out of wire, masking tape, and even paper mache. Scary or friendly, the limits of design are only your imagination!

H-Building and Construction

Students will work in the Scene Shop in collaborating on hands-on projects to create and build designs for the fall, winter, and spring productions, and will have the opportunity to work on independent building projects. Additionally, students should be comfortable learning to work with power tools, electricity and on ladders.

H-Drawing: Comics and Cartooning

The first half of this class will cover the basics of drawing comics and cartoons. Students will learn the fundamentals of form, lighting, perspective and anatomy. An emphasis will be placed on design, layout and visual storytelling. In the second half of the class students will learn to bend those basic principles to their own unique style and a focus will be placed on the student creating their own mini comic or cartoon.

H-Clay Tiles, Mosaics, and Glass

In this ceramics class students will be introduced to the process of creating clay tiles and mosaics. Decorative surface treatments will be explored, including high and low relief carving, melted glass, and a variety of glazing methods, as well as the process of grouting shards of broken pottery and other mixed media materials onto vessel forms or flat surfaces, to design an expressive, composite exterior.

H-Painting: Imaginative Realism

Ever wanted to paint something from imagination, but became discouraged with the result, or was even too scared to start? In this class students will learn basic fundamentals of painting, along with specific tips and tricks, and even a step by step process, to make a fully finished detailed painting. For inspiration we will look at book covers, movie posters, videogame concept art, surrealist painters, fantasy painters… the list goes on.

H-Photo Workshop: Low Light and Long Exposures

Whether using existing light or adding light to pictures using light sticks, flash lights and off-camera flashes students will explore low light and long exposure situations with cameras and tripods to evoke time of day, movement, and emotion. Some subjects may include neon signs, star trails, and painted light landscapes. Students must commit to photographing for an hour at night each week and have access to a digital camera and tripod.

H-Photo Workshop: Photo Collage

In this workshop students combine photography with different materials to build unique mixed media works. Students will take pictures and then will work with inkjet prints, paint, glue and found objects to create a mixed media piece that tells a personal story.

H-Sculptural Ceramics

In this workshop students combine photography with different materials to build unique mixed media works. Students will take pictures and then will work with inkjet prints, paint, glue and found objects to create a mixed media piece that tells a personal story.

Performing Arts

Freshman Arts Program

All first-year students participate in the Freshman Arts program that includes a rotation through each visual and performing art discipline. Courses include Artist Bookmaking, Ceramics, Dance, Drawing, Music, Photography, Printmaking, Public Speaking, Technical Theater, and Theater Arts. We will examine the elements, vocabulary and technical skills involved in each discipline and discover the concepts that interconnect all creative art forms. Students will learn respect for the intellectual aspects of the arts and will also explore the creativity and different perspectives that are necessary to develop one’s unique, creative voice through a variety of artistic media.

Dance Ensemble

In this workshop-structured course, intermediate to advanced technical skills will be practiced, key performance skills will be discussed, and fundamental team building skills will be highlighted. Creative processes and improvisation will be explored, and multiple genres and styles will be taught and may include but are not limited to: contemporary, ballet, creative movement, musical theater, tap, jazz, hip hop, and modern. The ensemble will rehearse and be encouraged to provide their own ideas and creative input throughout the year, and will be asked to collaborate in a variety of ways in order to achieve goals set by the class. In addition, students will have the opportunity to create their own dance works by learning skills in choreography, improvisation, and composition. This course will also offer students the opportunity to develop a greater sense of body awareness, self-confidence, and self-discipline by learning to use the body as an expressive instrument. Students in this class will be required to perform in multiple events in and outside the Pingree community throughout the school year. There is also and Honors Level.

Spectrum Vocal Ensemble

All students will rehearse and perform a wide variety of musical styles and genres, developing basic musical skills such as sight-reading, vocal production, and performance techniques. The ensemble will perform in major concerts and a mix of recitals, outreach concerts, competitions, field trips and festivals that vary from year to year. Students will also be expected to fulfill a service-learning component in this course through work with Express Yourself of Beverly. Students taking Spectrum at the “Regular” level are encouraged to audition for MMEA District Choir. Juniors and Seniors who have 2 trimesters of previous experience in Spectrum can apply to take Spectrum Vocal Ensemble at the Advanced Level.In addition to the regular level coursework, Advanced Level students can expect to participate in a significant number of additional rehearsals and performances in and around the community, will become a part of the Spectrum Leadership Team, and are expected to audition for MMEA District Choir. Seniorswho have completed three trimesters of Spectrum are eligible to apply for Honors Level study. In addition to all of the expectations of Regular and Advanced Level students, Honors students will coordinate the Spectrum Leadership Team, are expected to audition for the Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, and will be expected to complete rigorous academic coursework as indicated by the department honors requirements, culminating in a portfolio of work to be assessed by the Art Department.

Instrumental Ensemble

This course offers all students who play an instrument the opportunity to explore musical creativity by developing skills in performance, instrumental technique, improvisation, and composition. The instrumentation and musical direction of this ensemble varies from year to year and encourages the exploration of a wide variety of musical genres. As this ensemble functions in a workshop setting, significant time is devoted to developing skills in active listening, musical collaboration, and creative interaction. Students are encouraged to suggest repertoire, create original works and arrangements, make use of our recording studio, and perform in small and large ensemble contexts. Every effort is made to establish and achieve the musical goals of the individual players as well as those of the collective ensemble. Students will give public performances at various points in each trimester and may also be required to perform at other events in and outside of the Pingree community. Additionally, students are encouraged to audition for local and state music festivals. Only those students who are registered for this course may attend field trips or audition for music festivals. Also offered: Honors Instrumental Ensemble.

Building Arts

The Pingree Scene Shop is an active workshop for students interested in the arts of carpentry, metal smithing, garment making, mechanics, electrics and technical drawing. This course will give students the opportunity to both gain exposure to the basics of all these disciplines with primary focus on wood, textile, and cold metal work. In the collaborative problem-solving process, students will find themselves working on unique and functional projects (storage units, shop aprons, unique musical instruments) for display or use in the community. Additionally, students will be involved with creating the set for the fall and winter productions, making for a great hands-on opportunity for those interested in pursuing Engineering, Architecture, Project Management and Design of all types. Also offered: Honors Building Arts.

Performing Arts Lab (PAL)

As Performing Artistry, at its core, focuses on collaboration and understanding a variety of different skill sets used to tell stories, we believe in a fully integrated approach across disciplines in these courses. Taught in conjunction with each other, PAL classes give students the opportunity to focus on their discipline of choice while continually exposing them to the ways movement, design, and character building are all part of the narrative. Through collaborative projects and performances, Master Class workshops, and observations of one another’s work, students will engage in the work of multiple performing arts disciplines. Entrance into or movement between courses at the semester break is possible with the permission of the instructors.

PAL Courses:

Song and Story
Acting and Directing
Voice Lab

Music Technology Lab

Students will develop skills in the creation, performance, and recording of electronic music through the use of a variety of digital technologies including iPads, synthesizers, and the latest in computer hardware and software. Students will also develop skills in audio recording, engineering, music production, and sound design. Students can expect to learn how to use and operate all of the hardware and software involved with the Pingree Recording Studio. This course is open to all students, no prior musical experience is required, and it may be taken progressively over multiple years.

Course Options:

Foundations, Beats, and Synths
Recording Studio
iPads and Live Performance

Introduction to Music Theory and Production

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of music theory, recording, and production and their application in creating original music. Students will learn different approaches to analyzing, notating, and composing music, and significant emphasis will be placed on ear training and developing aural skills. By the end of the trimester, students will have learned to use the hardware and software in the recording studio in order to engineer and produce recordings of their work. Skills developed in this course will also help to inform and empower more meaningful experiences for students involved with musical ensembles at Pingree.

Acting I

In this introductory acting course, students will explore a variety of acting styles and techniques. The class will focus on authenticating roles through identity work and in-depth character study. The class will also practice skills that relate directly to acting for film and television. Students will have the opportunity to share their work with the community in Morning Meetings and at the winter arts concert.

H-Theater Improv

This half-credit course will introduce the essential skills and techniques necessary for becoming a successful improviser. Through a series of theater games and improvisational structures, students will learn to work both independently and collaboratively on acting “in the moment”. The course will focus on creating an ensemble, building confidence on stage, making unique and interesting character choices, and developing comedic timing. Also offered: Advanced Theater Improv.

H-Dance Today: Dance Fusion

Students will explore the elements of various dance forms across the world. Students will share their thoughts on the world of dance today by using video and other media resources, and will learn the expressive and functional benefits of different dance forms and the ways they relate to one another. Along with basic dance techniques, students will develop physical strength, coordination, and flexibility. Multiple genres of dance will be covered including Hip Hop and Contemporary. Additionally, students will study and practice the ways in which yoga and Pilates might inform and enhance their athletic abilities. This exciting class will emphasize active participation and students will have the opportunity to perform in events in and around the school community.

H-Pingree Singers

This half credit H block course is offered to any student who would like to participate in a large choir. The ensemble will rehearse and perform a wide variety of musical styles and genres, as well as work on basic musical skills such as music literacy, vocal solo and ensemble technique, and choral arrangement. Students will also be encouraged to provide their own ideas for concert repertoire as the year progresses.

H-Pingree A Cappella

With artists like the Pentatonix and television shows like The Sing Off, the popularity of a cappella singing is on the rise. In this performance-based ensemble class, and in the tradition of a cappella singing at Pingree, students will explore many genres of music as they relate to the unaccompanied voice. Students will perform pieces from the Early Renaissance all the way through popular songs by contemporary artists. This ensemble will be asked to perform at various school and community events and may participate in vocal competitions.

H-Contemporary Instrumental Music Ensemble

This half credit H block course is offered to any student who would like to participate in a large instrumental ensemble. This ensemble can incorporate any instrument, and even those who may be interested in incorporating digital music technology in live performance. The ensemble will rehearse and perform a wide variety of contemporary musical styles and genres, as well as work on basic musical skills such as music literacy, solo and ensemble technique, and improvisation.

H-Classical Chamber Ensemble

This half credit H block course is offered to those students who would like to participate in an instrumental ensemble that focuses on more classically oriented repertoire and can incorporate any instrument. The ensemble will rehearse and perform a wide variety of classically based musical styles and genres, as well as work on basic musical skills such as music literacy, solo and ensemble technique, and arranging.

H-Rock Ensemble

This half credit H block course is offered to those students who would like to gain more experience playing guitar and bass with others, and will also incorporate vocals and percussion. The ensemble will rehearse and perform a wide variety of musical styles and genres, as well as work on basic musical skills such as music literacy, solo and ensemble technique, and improvisation.

H-Percussion Ensemble

This half credit course is offered to those students who would like to gain more experience playing a variety of percussion instruments with others. The ensemble will rehearse and perform a wide variety of musical styles and traditions from all over the world, as well as work on basic musical skills such as music literacy, solo and ensemble technique, and improvisation.

H-Public Speaking

Speaking in public is an opportunity to connect, to educate, to motivate, and to inspire. This course will introduce students to a wide variety of types of public speaking – narrative, informative, symposium, persuasive and impromptu. We will especially focus on the art of communication and connection with an audience by strengthening skills in voice, diction, posture and gesture. Students will prepare a series of solo and group 1-5 minute presentations over the course of the semester. Students will also learn techniques to overcome anxiety about public speaking and self-expression.

H-Audio Recording and Production

This half-credit course will introduce the skills necessary in order to engineer, record, and produce audio and music using the equipment and facilities of the Pingree Recording Studio. Students will explore audio recording fundamentals including principles of acoustics, signal flow and routing, microphone selection and placement, and techniques for recording music from a variety of sources. The course will also focus on production techniques including effects processing, mixing, and mastering. Students will have the opportunity to practice their skills by working with and in other H-block performing arts classes and through the recording of community events. Students who successfully complete this course will will develop the necessary understandings to use the Pingree Recording Studio in order to manage future recording sessions within the school community.

H-Technical Theater Design

This course is open to students who are interested in scenic design, costume design, light/sound design for us in theatrical productions. This course may appeal to students with an interest in architecture, fashion, and sound engineering. Student will be introduced to and have the opportunity to practice using the technical operating systems in the Pingree theater, and may apply skills learned in supporting Pingree events and productions.

H-Yogance

This yoga inspired dance movement class will help all athletes with coordination, flexibility, and balance. Students will practice multiple genres of dance, while staying connected mind and body. Students will study the ways they might inform and enhance their athletic abilities through strength, stretch and conditioning exercises while focusing on the importance of breath. Athletes in this healthy and effective class will have the opportunity to perform in the Spring Arts Festival.

H-Song and Dance

Song & Dance is a performance based class designed to develop skills such as improvisational techniques, characterization, and interpretation through the study of musical theater scenes and songs as well as other popular music. Scenes from classic and modern musicals are rehearsed and studied in terms of styles and historical perspective. The course also includes the effective use of the singing voice on stage, and movement for actors through dance and creative movement. All will culminate in a final project performance designed by the students in class. No previous experience needed. All are welcome to participate in this class!

H-Ballroom with a Twist

This fun, festive and social dance class is for any student who wishes to learn basic ballroom techniques in both American and Latin style dances. These styles include and are not limited to salsa, cha cha, samba, waltz, tango and swing. Dancers will also learn partnering techniques along with some ways to sweep their partner off their feet. This class is for all levels and requires no previous experience.

H-Hip-Hop Grooves

Groove to the beat of some of your favorite songs! This beginner/intermediate level hip hop dance course is a blend of different hip hop techniques that will explore popping, locking, krumping, breakdancing and other popular dance styles. Dancers in this class will practice isolation, body control, and musicality. Freedom of freestyle and self expression will be encouraged.

H-The Solo Artist

Have you ever dreamed of being the lead singer fronting a band? Or performing at coffee houses? Well, now is your chance! Each voice is different and possesses unique sounds and capabilities all its own. In this lab we seek to identify and develop each person’s individual potential. Explore the key components of singing, from stylizing to repertoire, from communicating and performing with confidence. You will have the experience of singing jazz, pop, rock, R&B and beyond.