For the past three years Junior Nikki G. '19 has competed in all the Performing/Visual Arts poster competitions. This is Nikki's second winning design and third public poster project at BWS ("Chorus Line" 2015 and "STEAM Day" 2017). Sharing her thoughts on her first-place poster for the Craig Lucas comedy "Prelude to a Kiss" she comments: "When I first began my Prelude to a Kiss poster design, I was inspired by the presence of love in the play. Thus, I initially designed a poster with a color scheme solely influenced by romance. However, well into the design process, I experienced a slight change of heart and my inclination to design a 'lovey-dovey' poster was overruled by the prominent subject of magic at work in this production. I wanted to create a poster in which the magical transformation, which is known as the pinnacle of the production, is highlighted. Thus, I designed a poster which emphasized just that, while also focusing on the romantic aspects of the wedding scene, accompanied by a somewhat romantic, starry night of the background."
Brentwood School offers a wide array of visual arts experiences. Students, using the elements and principles of art as their guide, turn basic concepts into personally relevant art. Teachers direct, and students imagine, experiment, practice, and grow in a supportive atmosphere that fosters creative self-expression. This creativity spreads contagiously throughout each class, the department, and the school, producing actively engaged artists and the outstanding artwork that is prominently displayed in numerous campus locations.
Our dedicated gallery space has a full yearly calendar and serves as a dynamic display center for student art, guest artist presentations, and faculty exhibitions. Regularly, art education extends beyond the classroom through a series of artists' talks that make concepts and imagery come alive for our school community. In April, our All-School Art Show spotlights K-12 visual art in a week long celebration that honors each artist and gives an overview of our comprehensive visual program. Each year, two department wide collaborative projects engage each visual discipline in the exploration of a shared theme, with opening receptions that invite the entire campus to participate in art and ideas. Additionally, our Theater Lobby Gallery presents work that enhances and supports performing arts events, and our Library display space engages all who congregate there.
Students also submit to and are accepted in various art competitions at the local, regional, and national levels. Preparation, production, and presentation are at the heart of Brentwood School's visual arts program.
Ceramics and Sculpture classes offer students the opportunity to build technical and creative skills using high fire clay, glaze and mixed media. Projects range from traditional functional pottery to conceptually driven expressive art pieces. Beginning students develop foundation skills such as hand-building, wheel throwing, and glazing. More advanced assignments investigate the art making process with emphasis on craftsmanship, aesthetics and personal expression. Ceramics is a semester course, but can be taken up to 6 times during 9-12 grades. Ceramic student art work is displayed throughout the year in South Quad display case, BWS Gallery and the All School Art Show.
Click here to view more about the Ceramic program at BWS and to see more Ceramic student art.
Click here to view the BWS Ceramic YouTube Channel.
Brentwood School's new film program is designed to introduce students to all the essential skills and techniques necessary to create their own films. Now entering its second year, the program currently offers three one-semester classes available to all students from grades 9-12: Introduction to Filmmaking, Advanced Filmmaking, and Video Editing. Over the course of the semester, students learn the fundamentals of storytelling and how they apply to the film world, and develop skills in all phases of the production process, including concept creation, shooting techniques, and video editing. Students also develop the ability to analyze and critique the film medium, enriching their experience as viewers in our media-saturated world. Throughout each course, selected student work is submitted to local and regional film festivals for consideration, and shared with the school community on our YouTube channel, BWS Eaglevision.
Photography courses in the Upper School at Brentwood School are open to all grade levels 9th - 12th. These courses are sequential and range from Photo 1 on up to Honors Photo 6. These classes are designed for students who simply want to learn to take better pictures, and for those who are accomplished photo enthusiast. Photography at Brentwood presents an exciting in-depth understanding of both Darkroom and Digital techniques. Students learn about attaining proper exposure, camera functions, creating black & white prints in the darkroom, and learning Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign).
The AP 2D Design course is an advanced course in photography and design. This class is a survey of ideas and techniques regarding the visual structure of 2D design, including the elements of design (line, color, shape, value, texture, space) in relation to the principals of design (unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, and figure/ground). Students investigate all facets of abstraction through design, composition, and theoretical elements relative to the medium via studio projects, lectures, group critiques, gallery/museum visits,and presentations on contemporary & historical artists and designers. Studio projects, critique participation, journals, and critical writing projects are required. The course promotes a sustained investigation of all three aspects of portfolio development - quality, concentration, and breadth - in 2D design throughout the duration of this one-year course.
The Performing Arts Department and the Visual Arts Department collaborate together on the poster designs for various performances. Students prep thumbnail sketches and discuss their ideas in one-on-one meetings with the photography teacher. Once posters are completed, they are submitted anonymously to a board of judges who evaluate, write comments, and select a winning design. The photos below showcase some of the posters that have won over the years.
This is the first winning design for Freshman Julia E. '20 in the 2017 Performing/Visual Arts poster design competition. This also marks the first time a Freshman student has won this highly competitive poster competition since 2012. Sharing her thoughts on her first place poster for the tragic nonfiction play "The Laramie Project" she comments: After I heard the introduction of this play by the director and I saw the movie, I immediately thought my design should have a dark feeling. The photo I used has gloomy clouds in the back and depicts a long road going deep into the hills. This symbolizes the journey of tragedy Matthew Shepard and the community of Laramie had to face after Matthew's death. The rainbow combined with the US flag ironically represents the gay community and the US as a united community, which they are not. I wanted the text to be simple and classic, so the viewer would clearly see that this is a very real and tragic play. I was thrilled to find out that I had won this poster contest, especially because of how meaningful this play is and continues to be.
This is the first winning design for Sophomore Mia B. '19 in the 2017 Performing/Visual Arts poster design competition. As a second semester Photo 1 student, this is also Mia's first time competing in this highly competitive poster competition. Sharing her thoughts on her first place poster for the iconic 1950s musical Guys and Dolls, she comments: "When taking on the Guys and Dolls poster assignment, at first I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to go. I figured out that sometimes the best inspiration comes from going back to the original. I found a vintage Guys and Dolls posters online and was automatically drawn to the vibrant colors and playful feel. I decided that keeping the design simple and bright with a retro feel was the best way to go. When I found out I had won I did not believe it was true, as I never expected to win with so many other amazing entrees. I feel extremely honored!"