Our visual arts curriculum is driven by the idea that capable drawing is the key to success in all areas of art and design, both 2- and 3-dimensional. We also believe that drawing is eminently teachable; that drawing skills are applicable to a large number of professions outside the art world; and that art appreciation is best encouraged, not by teaching children what art is, but by teaching them how to draw, paint and sculpt.
Elementary and Middle School
At the elementary and middle level, all of our schools have classrooms and teachers dedicated to art instruction. These teachers are all active artists outside the classroom, and the best work of their students is featured not only in house, but also during our annual district art show at the Lyme Academy. Working closely with their fellow teachers, our elementary teachers encourage art-making throughout the buildings and connect their lessons with the historical, scientific and cultural topics that students are encountering in academic classes. At the middle school, students begin to master art techniques and processes through rigorous instruction, perseverance, and attention to craftsmanship.
The high school employs two full-time art teachers, one for drawing and painting and the other for ceramics, sculpture and digital design.
The drawing curriculum at Lyme-Old Lyme High School offers not only semester-long Introductory and advanced drawing classes, but also year-long offerings in ECE Drawing (Early College Experience, accredited by the University of Connecticut) and Advanced Placement Drawing, giving students an opportunity to study drawing for three full years. The focus here is on classical training, including human proportion and anatomy; the geometries of perspective, light and shade; copying from teacher demonstrations and master draftsmen; and crosshatching techniques.
In digital art we offer small classes in our Mac lab employing the latest technology, including the Adobe Creative Suite and 3D modeling software. This curriculum enjoys growing synergy with our excellent ceramics program: advanced students have the ability to design textures and forms digitally, 3D print models and stamps, and use them to help form work in clay. We also offer instruction in wheel-throwing, with eight potters wheels in frequent use throughout the day.
The High School’s painting program features master copying in water-soluble oil paints at the introductory level, followed by increasingly challenging still life and portrait assignments involving the use of an underpainting, also in oils.
Our graduates win frequent accolades at the regional, state and national level, and have also earned generous scholarships for their portfolios from leading schools in art, architecture and design. We are passionate about what we do here, and will always make time to review portfolios and speak to prospective students and parents. We would love to show you what we do!