Walnut Hill School for the Arts



Visual art photos

In the Walnut Hill Visual Art Department, students master fundamental artistic concepts while exploring varied techniques and mediums. Student artists acquire foundational skills and hone their creative impulses through personal practice, faculty guidance, and exposure to the work of peers. Classes ranging from drawing, ceramics, and painting to photography and apparel design are taught by faculty mentors who are also professional artists, attuned to the continual evolution of the arts world. Throughout the department, process is valued, focus is balanced by fun, and experimentation is celebrated. In addition to producing a portfolio of work, purposeful artistic practice allows students to build greater self-awareness and confidence, and develop an open mind-set crucial to their success in future pursuits.

Courses in Visual Art


With a strong emphasis on observational work, students explore basic problems of line, composition, and tonal/value relationships, as well as issues of content and personal expression in their artwork.


The fundamentals of hand-building, wheel-throwing, glazing, and kiln-firing techniques are covered in class. Students work on a variety of projects ranging from simple vessels to more elaborate functional objects and sculptural projects.


Students in this class learn the basics of the oil painting medium. They explore the unique challenges of value and color relationship as used to create the illusion of space. Over time, students move on to more advanced exploration of painting concepts in terms of both technique and personal expression.


Beginning with a historical overview of public art, students work together in small groups of three to five students to design and create actual large-scale paintings in an existing public space. Good communication and sharing of responsibilities is crucial to the successful completion of each group’s project. Students will be guided through the unique challenges and rewards of working on a very large scale in a very public process.


This class is designed to familiarize students with three-dimensional problem-solving in terms of both content and materials. Students work with a variety of materials ranging from plaster and wood to found objects.


Students learn use of the camera, film development, darkroom techniques, and photo composition. Students work on a variety of projects ranging from photograms and pinhole photography to portraiture, documentary, and alternative printing processes.


In this course, the students make art in book form, designing and constructing their own books. Ideas of sequence, narrative, and development of text and image inform class discussions. Students work on unifying the design of the page and the book as a whole to create a sculptural object.


This course introduces students to various methods such as linocut, woodcut, copperplate etching, monotype, and collograph. Each process creates distinctive marks, which transform drawings in exciting and unexpected ways. Students use the printing press to create thematic variations and limited edition prints.


Students in this course are introduced to the foundations of digital image making and print media; they learn to use the computer as another tool in the art-making process. Working with a variety of software programs, students start by exploring the possibilities of drawing, scanning, digital photography, and printing in the development of still-imagery. As they advance to working with digital video cameras, students also learn to use the computer in the editing and production of short films, both stop-motion animation and live action.


Working with a variety of two-dimensional media, students develop and describe personal themes and stories through drawing and painting.


Working within the framework of assignments based on specific concepts and/or limited to specific materials, students in this class are learning to work in an independent manner as mature artists. Every few weeks, seniors are given a new technique to work with or a theme to which they must respond. The assignments can be interpreted in many different ways. The students must plan, problem-solve, and generate individual solutions to each new assignment. Through individual and group critique sessions, they are then asked to explain their work and to participate in discussion about their choices and their process.

Student Work

Claire Newman '18
Kippy Sage '18
Anthony Ahn '18
Cat Fanale '20
Neeko Shi '20
Fair Shi '18
Tony Yang Ding '19
Manasi Eswarapu '18
Sandy Maio '18
Sunny Lin '20
Max Ross '19
Max Ross '19
Brea Corcoran '18
Capucine Zelenko '18
Tiger Lily Lane '19
Gina Park '18

Points of Pride


Our Visual Artists have matriculated to some of the world’s best colleges and art schools, including:

Academy of Art University — Alfred University — Art Center College of Design — Brown University — California College of Art — California Institute of the Arts — Central St. Martins College of Art and Design (UK) — Chelsea College of Art and Design (UK) — Fashion Institute of Technology — Georgetown University — Hampshire College — Maine College of Art — Maryland Institute College of Art — Northeastern University — Otis College of Art and Design — Parsons The New School for Design — Pratt Institute — Ravensbourne College of Design (UK) — Rhode Island School of Design — Ringling College of Art and Design — San Francisco Art Institute — Savannah College of Art and Design –School of the Art Institute Chicago — School of the Museum of Fine Arts — School of Visual Arts — Skidmore College — Syracuse University — University of Arts London (UK) — Washington University in St. Louis

Notable Alumni

Christine Waggoner ’95
Jack McCollough ’97
Jake Fried ’02
Jonah Freeman ’93
Kristin Sancken ’05
Luke Rothschild ’89
Maximilian Pelzmann ’92
Meredith Danluck ’94
Shayna Bentkover ’04
Susan Strickler ’69

Our visual art students have also achieved some impressive professional accomplishments since their time on the hill, in the art world and beyond. Here is a sampling of some of the exciting things our alumni have gone on to do, for more news from our alumni, visit our Class Notes page.

Inside Highland Studios

Visual Art Faculty

Jim Woodside

Jim Woodside

Titles: Director of Visual Art
Rachel Chambers

Rachel Chambers

Titles: Visual Art Faculty
Jason Cheeseman-Meyer

Jason Cheeseman-Meyer

Titles: Visual Art Faculty
Eileen de Rosas

Eileen de Rosas

Titles: Ceramics Instructor & Visual Art Studio Assistant
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