Boys relax in RLs visual art classrooms, but they do serious work. Through the lens of creating art, boys learn patience, planning, pain, and perseverance.

Visual Arts

Four classrooms on campus are distinguished, for the senses, by what happens within them. Marked by scents of sawdust or drying plaster; paint-splattered and etched by decades of RL boys; peaceful and lit in a way that brings colors to their intended vibrancy; or buzzing (literally) with electric crafting tools, each of these spaces is ripe for creation.

The ultimate goal of the Arts department isn’t to make artists, but to make art lovers. The intention is not to make masters, but rather students who are sophisticated at looking, and appreciating, and accessing meaning in art—all important skills in a complex world.

And yet, each year students choose to take their artistic interests and talents to great heights, creating true masterpieces—delighting in both the frustrations and rewards of committing to a work of art and bringing it to its full potential. Boys routinely win regional and national honors for their paintings and drawings. Last year, Erik Zou ’19 was the first current student in recent history to have his work celebrated on campus through a solo exhibit—the annual winter art exhibit housed in the Great Hall—for one month.

Through the Visual Arts our faculty also teach boys about the history of art and the masters who have come before them: They give students a historical sense of the technologies and techniques employed by artists, architects, and engineers over time—and through which those individuals responded to practical or creative problems.