Visual Arts

From the vantage of the Thetford Academy campus we can see layer upon layer of mountains. Which are lighter: the closer mountains or the distant? Check your answer by looking outside. We are born seeing, and we can interpret what we see without really thinking about it. Most of the information we receive from our world is visual; from glossy advertisements to the paintings of the masters, from cereal boxes to celebrated sculptures, what we see is intentionally created to affect our emotions and our choices, whether we know it or not.


The visual arts at Thetford Academy focus on visual literacy. How do color, contrast, value, shape, pattern, and quality of line affect the way we react to a visual presentation – either in life or on canvas? And in the studio, how do we employ elements and principles of design to portray our own creative ideas? Thetford Academy art students will study how art theory and methods are employed in skillful creative expression.

Students will work together, learning the valuable disciplines of effective critique and brainstorming. Students will also work independently, discovering and evolving in their own style. From Art 7 to Advanced Art and independent studies, every class begins by revisiting and exploring the employment of the elements and principles of design, or, in the case of ceramics and other three‑dimensional work, form and function.


Several opportunities exist for students to pursue individual artistic interests. Within any course, many assignments are open to student choice. For example, for a class assignment requiring landscapes, one student might choose to paint a motor speedway while another chooses horses in a pasture. In Advanced Art and in an Independent Study, students will choose the medium(s) in which they wish to work. With permission of the instructor, some may further pursue ceramics, while others explore such varied interests as oil painting, printmaking, or stained glass.