Visual & Performing Arts
The Visual and Performing Arts Program thrives on the collaborative energy of dance, music, photography, theatre, and visual arts. Each department offers courses designed to support and engage both the curious beginner and the committed art student. Through the arts, students develop the tools for authentic self-expression, gain confidence, and expand their capacity for reflection. The program celebrates multiple perspectives, emphasizing the connection between the arts and other disciplines. In addition to the fully credited academic program, the department offers a breadth of opportunities outside the class day that foster creativity, collaboration, and independent exploration.
Visual Art at Hotchkiss offers a place for every student, regardless of experience or talent. You may be curious about your artistic abilities, but hesitate to engage because you have never studied art before. Perhaps you are well-versed in drawing or ceramics, but you are interested in new challenges and new media. Whatever your degree of confidence or experience, our program provides opportunities for success at every level. We are committed to teaching students how to see, how to compose and design, how to work through complex visual problems, and ultimately, how to manipulate various media in a compelling and personally meaningful manner.
Dance at Hotchkiss offers students the opportunity to learn the discipline and craft of ballet and modern dance and to explore the creative challenges of this art form. Placement of students in the various courses will be made at the discretion of the instructor. A mid-term performance examination is given in certain classes during each semester. Upon request, a winter special project in dance can be arranged in place of athletics only after a student has completed one semester of study in either medium.
The music students study the evolution of music and its cultural and expressive legacy and impact. Both the study of music (courses in music history, theory, performance, and composition) and the practice of music (applied music) are integral parts of the curriculum. Students come to Hotchkiss with a wide range of musical interests, ability, and experience, from serious musicians aspiring to a performance career to the simply curious who want know more about music or take up an instrument.
The music department offers an active series of student chamber music concerts. Guest artists frequently visit the School, offering workshops, master classes, and concerts.
There are three ways a student can get involved in music at Hotchkiss: performance courses, general music courses, and non-credit music lessons. Students come to Hotchkiss with a wide range of musical interests, ability, and experience. The music program is designed to meet the needs of this diverse student body. Those students who are serious musicians aspiring to a performance career, or those who are simply curious to know more about music or to take up an instrument, can find the courses, faculty, private instruction, and performance opportunities to meet their goals.
The Photography, Film & Related Media program at Hotchkiss has been established for over 40 years and is housed in one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country. Students begin in the traditional darkrooms before moving into the digital domain to explore digital photography and video. Basic, advanced, and independent courses are offered in traditional photography, digital photography, and film. In addition to regular classroom instruction, students take field trips to galleries and museums. Guest artists and photographers exhibit their work in the Tremaine Art Gallery and hold workshops for students. Owning a camera is not required for beginning classes, but members of advanced photography classes should consider having their own DSLR cameras.
- Two digital classrooms and analog darkrooms
- A video editing classroom
- Screening room
- A lighting studio
- Green screen room
- Laser engraver
- Printers: large format, medium format, and b/w digital printer
- Mounting and laminating room
Open to all students, regardless of experience level, the theatre program offers courses in acting, design, directing, musical theatre, public speaking, and theatre technology. All of the courses help students develop creative problem-solving skills through practical, hands-on experience. Qualified students may also be permitted to direct or design productions sponsored by the Hotchkiss Dramatic Association. All courses offered in the theatre curriculum fulfill the arts requirement.
The goal of the theatre program is to enhance students' appreciation of theatre as a literary and performing art, whether they're participating in a stage production or attending one.
- Esther Eastman Music Center and Katherine M. Elfers Hall. Learn more about this state-of-the-art facility and professional performance space.
- Walker Auditorium, a 660-seat theatre for student performances, guest speakers, film festivals, weekly All-School Meetings, and other special events
- The Black Box Theatre, an intimate space for student productions
- The Edgar Cullman Art Studios
- The Tremaine Art Gallery