ARTS AND MUSIC
Whether a student is an experienced artist who needs to put together a portfolio for art school, or a beginner who would like to learn to draw, there is opportunity for artistic expression at Shortridge, and the arts are an integral part of life at our school, both formally and informally. Formally, our Visual Arts curriculum consists of four courses — Studio Arts I, Studio Arts II, Photography and Art History – which take place in our Art Room and our Darkroom. Informally, we have an Arts Club that meets twice/week, and Friday afternoon activities often include art projects on campus, photography field trips to shoot the Seacoast, and visits to local museums, and arts and crafts venues.
The Studio Workshop is designed to allow students of all abilities and interests to study — and experiment in — a variety of art forms, including drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery, fiber arts, and design. Lessons and activities promote an understanding of the principles and concepts related to line, color, shape/form, texture, value, repetition, space, and rhythm. The Studio Arts courses are also an opportunity for students to explore personal and cultural artistic purpose, and to study contemporary and historic works of art. In doing so, students will learn and apply the elements of critique, hone their ability to see and think as artists, refine their artistic style, and develop a lifelong appreciation of art.
In Photography, students master the technical aspects of basic black and white photography in our darkroom, in addition to looking at the various forms of picture making throughout history. They learn a variety of photographic processes by using a Pinhole Camera, Medium Format and 35 mm manual SLR cameras, as well as getting an introduction to Digital Photography and Photoshop manipulation. Students shoot and develop their own black and white negatives as well as produce black and white prints. An emphasis is placed on composition and the photographic rule of thirds. Students work in a variety of genres, such as portrait, landscape, still life and abstract photography. They also explore experimental darkroom techniques and digital image manipulation using Photoshop.
Art History: Exploration and Practice is a class primarily focused on the research of art movements and artists, and also includes a minor focus on studio arts media and techniques. The course covers the elements of art, fundamental art history terminology, and the technical processes used by artists throughout history. Students explore the aesthetics of the time and place in which the art is made, and in the process, discover their own personal aesthetic. Regular essays are a part of the curriculum, as well as student artwork that shows use of major concepts and techniques of the art that is being researched. Students create and maintain a portfolio over the course of the class that combines their research and corresponding artworks.
Music is a less formal artistic pursuit at Shortridge; that said, you can always find a small band of passionate players learning songs and teaching each other chords in our Great Room, and guitars are as common as computers. There are two spaces on-campus dedicated to musicianship: a small music room in the House, where students store their instruments so that they can practice during the day, and our recording studio, which students use during Club time and on the weekends. Southern New Hampshire is blessed with an active music scene, and private guitar, voice and music theory lessons are available, at additional cost.