Upper School Arts

Providence Academy’s Department of Fine Arts believes that the arts are integral to the formation of a complete person. Students therefore learn fundamental skills of each discipline in order to produce artistic creations, and gain an understanding and appreciation of the modern world. In the Upper School, students have an abundance of opportunities to find their artistic niche. Providence offers courses in visual, musical and theatrical productions.

Studio Art emphasizes sound drawing techniques in order to develop ideas in all areas of the visual arts. Students apply the principles of art to a variety of projects in an environment where tradition enlightens creativity.

Theatre and production courses analyze the history and theory of performance while developing basic skills in design and technical aspects of theatre. Students present their knowledge and skill through various theatrical presentations. Providence Academy Upper School students participate in a Fall Play, a One-Act Play that is part of competition and a Spring Musical.

Music courses teach historical, theoretical, and emotional analysis through performances.  Students are encouraged to become comprehensive musicians using these multiple angles. Upper School students have several options when it comes to displaying their instrumental and vocal talents including: strings, wind band and choir. The annual “Coffee House” talent show allows students to display their individual gifts.

Arts Courses Offered in Upper School

3D Art I: Modeling

This course will provide and introduction to 3D modeling tools and concepts. Using Blender, the popular open-source 3D modeling package, students will learn the basics of creating shapes, adding textures and lighting, and rendering. By the end of the course, students will have produced a series of increasingly sophisticated projects for their 3D portfolio. This course is suitable for students with no prior experience with 3D game design or digital media authoring tools. Estimated Completion Time: 90 hours/18-20 weeks.  Students Materials/System Requirements: PC or Mac with 1GB of RAM, Blender.  A link to the free installation files is included within the course. (Online course, Grades 11-12)

Studio Art I

This course emphasizes the fundamentals of drawing as the basics of art. These fundamentals include perspective, proportion, shape and value. Students will be introduced to color through simple painting projects. Over the course of the year various materials will be used including pencil, pastel, watercolor and acrylic. In addition, an introduction to three-dimensional media is given via a clay project. Weekly drawing assignments and copies from the Old Masters are also given. Requirements outside the classroom include sketchbook

homework assignments and an art history project each semester. (Grades 9-12)

Studio Art II

Building on the fundamentals learned in Studio Art I, students explore the Principles of Art with greater depth and refinement, working on more extended projects in drawing media, watercolor, acrylic painting, relief printing, and clay – including wheel-throwing. Requirements outside of the classroom include periodic sketchbook and art history assignments. (Grades 10-12.  Prerequisite: Studio Art I.)

Studio Art III

Students continue exploring the Principles of Art through in-depth explorations of two and three-dimensional media, including drawing, oil painting, mixed media, and clay.  The printmaking unit includes an introduction to  etching and intaglio.  Requirements outside of the classroom include periodic sketchbook and art history assignments.  (Grades 11-12.  Prerequisite: Studio II.)

Studio Art IV

This advanced class has a flexible curriculum of projects intended enhance a student’s senior portfolio. The openness of the assignments allow the students a more in-depth exploration of a particular field of the visual arts including architecture, painting, graphic design, printmaking, and clay.  Requirements outside of the classroom include periodic sketchbook and art history assignments.  (Grade 12.  Prerequisite: Studio Art III.)

Photography I

Students in Photography learn the artistic and mechanical fundamentals of photography.  Working with their own digital cameras, students learn and apply skills using cutting-edge technologies and professional imaging applications.  The students’ work may be used in school publications, projects, and their own exciting portfolios.  No prior experience with photography is needed.  Open to grades 10, 11 and 12.  Note: Each student will need a digital camera for this class.  (Grades 10-12.)

Photography II

Students continue their exploration of digital media. Projects are more in-depth in theory, design, and technology, as well as in uses of imaging applications.  Photography II also includes exploration of graphic arts types of designs, discussions of photography as a profession, and concludes with a portfolio. Each student will need a digital cameras for this class.   (Grades 11-12.  Prerequisite: C or higher in Photography I.)


Students in Publications learn and apply digital photography, layout and design to produce Providence Academy’s Pre-K-12 yearbook.  Students work with such responsibilities as editor-in-chief, photographer, graphic designer, journalist, and others. Publications students may also design other promotional materials for the school such as flyers, brochures and posters. Once all yearbook deadlines are met, an introduction to website design and work on Providence Academy’s Arts & Literature magazine are also possibilities. In addition to the above, bi-weekly assignments are given to enhance the student’s knowledge of Photoshop and In Design. (Grades 10-12.)

Introduction to Theater

A comprehensive survey of the arts and crafts of the stage, students will explore the many different types of theater and performance.  Topics include acting, improvisation, history, purpose and stagecraft.  This course provides a foundation for students interested in participating in US theatre productions as well as gives the groundwork for students interested in taking the acting or directing courses. (Grades 10-12.)

Academy Chorale

Students in the Academy Chorale learn music theory, music history, and appropriate singing techniques through the performance of both sacred and secular vocal music.  The Academy Chorale performs at three concerts each year—the Christmas, Sacred and Spring Concerts.  (Grades 9-12.  Prerequisites: Vocal check and teacher approval.)

Symphonic Band

The purpose of this elective is to obtain and demonstrate technical, theoretical, historical, and emotional elements of high school instrumental literature while learning teamwork and leadership in an ensemble setting.  It is preferred that the students have former instrumental training, but admittance for those without prior experience is possible with director consent.  The students perform in 4+ concerts throughout the school year as well as entertain as a pep band at designated school functions.  Fees may apply. (Grades 9-12.  Prerequisites: Instrumental check and teacher  approval.)

Music Consortium

The Music Consortium is a performing ensemble of strings, winds, brass, percussion, singers, and piano. Other instrumentalists such as guitar, mandolin and other folk-like instruments are also welcome. The class is designed to enhance the student’s musicianship through a democratic rehearsal process and creative pairing of instruments into small and large ensembles. Assessments: 3 mandatory concerts per year, one written project per semester, playing improvement, participation in the creative planning and execution of practice and concerts.  (Grades 9-12)

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