Fine Arts are taught as a family of disciplines which present to us varied expressions of reality, creation, and its Creator. Visual Art, Music, and Drama each bring into focus different particular truths of creation, but they all communicate these truths in relation to the whole of existence. To communicate in each of these mediums one must develop bodily coordination and skill, while joining body and soul as one to articulate with truth, goodness, and beauty our deepest loves and affections.
Inspiration and Creation
At the foundation of the Liberal Arts are gymnastic and music, which shape us to be receptive to the acquisition of both moral and intellectual virtues. As students learn to be artists, they engage in gymnastic by training the body in various skills essential to visual art, drama, and music. For example, the hand must learn to draw a straight line, the voice to match pitch, the face to clearly portray an idea. Similar to a sport or other course of study, the intellectual virtues of discipline, self-control, and perseverance are developed within the pursuit of these skills. In turn, reception of moral virtue is sought in music, the tuning of the soul towards truth and goodness. In the fine arts, inspiration through observation and creation are the means of this redirection of the soul. As students study master works of visual art, music, and drama they are confronted by the splendor of harmony and truth. This experience fuels a desire to create art of similar quality in response. These two experiences of inspiration and creation begin a cycle of sustained wonder and love for that which is true and good.
Integration and Expectation
Fine Arts are continuously woven into the Habersham education. Rather than relegating the arts to a talented few, we require all students to take foundational courses in each fine art. A distinctive of Fine Arts education at Habersham is that we exceed the expectation for students to simply create art and learn basic skills and methods. In addition to understanding foundational concepts and techniques, we seek for students to be well-versed in the history and traditions of Visual Art, Music, and Drama.
In the Upper School, students may focus on a single fine art for a trimester as a part of the elective system, with room for increasing specialization as students develop in skill and maturity. Additionally, fine arts faculty regularly join the Humanities teachers to lead classes in the study of master works, such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, or Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Through this rich immersion, students are taught to love what is true within the Fine Arts and equipped to pursue that same truth in their creation of art.