Visual Arts

In the most literal sense, art is foundational for Wheeler

School founder Mary Colman Wheeler was an artist, trained in the ateliers of 19th century France. In her day, she received international recognition as a pioneer in art education. She is among the first American educators to fully integrate Art into primary and secondary curricula.  She was also a mathematics teacher and spoke numerous languages.  Is it any wonder her school today is where creativity is encouraged for all in all subjects?

Our faculty and facilities

The Visual Arts Department at Wheeler has a separate, experienced faculty who are working artists and who teach in every division of the School.  Art is not an add-on here.  Art classrooms and studio spaces are located in every division for every student from Nursery – Gr. 12. A professional art gallery, The Chazan Gallery, is located within our campus.

A three-tiered approach to teaching art

We base our art curriculum on a three-tiered approach.

  • We teach a structured approach to art, believing that it is necessary to learn the basic elements that underlie any work of visual art: line, shape, space, mass, texture, light, and color.
  • The formal elements are the basic vocabulary of art. We also teach the grammar or syntax of a work of art: how the basic elements are organized through the principles of design and composition: repetition, variety, symmetry, asymmetry, proportion, emphasis, and economy.
  • The vehicle for teaching these formal elements and principles of design is based on a range of traditional subject matter: the portrait, the figure, the landscape, and the still life.

Contact Visual Arts Department Head Bob Martin.

Art in the News