ARTS

The Art Department’s mission is to give students a firm grounding in the basics of performing and visual arts, and to encourage them to use the arts as a vehicle for self-expression. We believe that everyone can and should participate in the artistic process, not just those identified as “talented.” To this end, we strive to maintain studios in which each student is able to grow as an imaginative, thoughtful person in a safe, supportive and inspiring environment. Teachers model the creative process for students through their own experiences as working artists, and hope to instill a life-long love for the arts in Forman’s students.


STUDIO ARTS PROGRAM

Studio Art

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This class is designed to serve as an introduction to the studio arts and to provide an opportunity for creative work within a supportive environment. Each student will develop a greater understanding of the visual arts experience through the exploration of a variety of media and techniques including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fabric art, collage and mixed media. Students will learn about the basic elements of design; line, color, shape, texture, value and form, and learn how to apply the fundamentals of these elements to their artwork to use many art tools and appliances as well as experience using different mark-making materials and supports. There will be opportunities for students to make choices within the assignments, giving them the option to create their own solutions to design problems. This survey class will help students decide which medium they may want to pursue next.


Drawing and Painting

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course is designed to provide students with basic skills in drawing and painting. Learning to “see” through extensive observational drawing, students will complete a range of assignments from short rough studies to more thorough and complete works. Students will develop technical and expressive drawing skills while exploring line, form, volume, shading and composition. An introduction to painting will include color mixing, application and theory. Students will learn about painting through instruction and skill practice, exploration and the study of famous artists and art styles. Creativity and self-expression will be encouraged, as students will be given freedom while working within the parameters of class assignments.


Advanced Drawing and Painting

  • All Grades 
  • .5 credit
  • Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting

The knowledge and skills learned in Drawing and Painting will be expanded in this course. Students will continue working primarily from direct observation with increased emphasis placed upon considering the Principles of Art in their drawn and painted compositions. Students will refine their technical skills and further develop their own style and form of personal expression. Mixed media, printmaking, different drawing and painting materials and various types of papers and canvas will be made available so that students will have choices within the assignments given. Students may work towards building an art portfolio and will be guided in the process by College Counseling and the art faculty.


Metalsmithing

  • Grades 10, 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit

Students will be introduced to the basic skills necessary for working in metals such as using the jeweler’s saw, soldering metals (brass, copper and silver), understanding annealing and metal-hardening techniques, stamping and embellishment of work and the proper preparation and maintenance of tools and materials. Students will first learn to create simple band rings and then how to bezel set a stone, stamp and embellish metal pieces and possibly create chains. Students will be given choice once they learn the basics and will be expected to research different sources for inspiration and ideas. We will learn the art of enameling during the semester and students will be given the opportunity to learn simple enameling techniques upon copper plate. Safety will be of primary importance in this class and students will be expected to behave accordingly.  


Advanced Metalsmithing

  • Grades 10, 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit
  • Prerequisite: Metalsmithing

Students will have the opportunity to continue their exploration of metalsmithing in this class and it may be repeated for advanced credit as desired. Students will be expected to keep a sketchbook of ideas for their work as well as research metalworking techniques necessary for their projects. Students may choose either to continue acquiring developmental skills in the art of metalworking, or if they prefer, may decide to concentrate on one specific area of the art form. Individual critique and discussion with the instructor will facilitate and clarify student direction while also insuring that the necessary tools and materials will be available. The elements and principles of art will continue to play a role in the design of all work and craftsmanship will be emphasized.


Ceramics

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This semester course serves as an introduction to the creative medium of ceramics. Students will develop an understanding of its history, terminology, materials, construction techniques and finishes. Students will learn to prepare clay for ceramic construction, analyze and express personal ideas through the use of clay, and demonstrate proper use of design. Students will experiment with the process of wheel throwing on an electric potter’s wheel. They will employ the skills of glaze application and decoration in a manner that enhances ceramic ware and then build an understanding of firing their pieces using an electric kiln.


Advanced Ceramics

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit
  • Prerequisite: Ceramics

This semester course serves as an opportunity to build on students’ ceramic skills, knowledge and terminology obtained in Ceramics. Students will use their knowledge and continue to prepare clay for ceramic construction, analyze and express personal ideas through the use of clay, and demonstrate proper use of design. Students frequently use the pottery wheel to refine skills; they will practice creating various forms via hand building, completing a body of work over the course of the semester. They will learn how to mix glazes and slips, and then employ the skills of glaze application and decoration in a manner that enhances ceramic ware. Students will learn how to load and fire an electric kiln and increase familiarity with a variety of decorating techniques.


Sculpture and Design

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

Sculpture and design is a half-year, art course where students will explore various sculpture techniques using metal, wood, plaster, and a variety of other materials. They will learn to manipulate the material using sculpture tools. Emphasis will be placed on originality, individual concept, design, and craftsmanship. Students will also learn about contemporary and historical artists within the medium and analyze and critique all different kinds of work.  


Modern and Contemporary Art History

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

The course will explore the history of modern art. Students will establish an understanding of the movements that lead up to the modern art era from French Impressionists to Postmodern and Installation and Conceptual Art. Students will also become knowledgeable about different art movements, theories and artists. Specifically, we will examine the importance of the 1913 Armory Art Show, considered to be the dawn and awakening, for America, to the ideas and concepts expressed in modern art. Special attention will be on American art and artists. Through a series of reading and visual materials, along with art documentaries and field trips to museums and galleries, students will learn to formulate their own informed opinions on modern art and its importance, thereby creating a direct line to the contemporary art of today.


Culinary Arts 

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course introduces the fundamental concepts, skills and techniques in basic cookery, using moist, dry and combination heat. Emphasis is placed on recipe conversion, measurements, terminology, classical knife cuts, safe food and equipment handling, flavorings/seasonings, stocks/sauces/soups, and related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to exhibit the basic cooking skills used in the foodservice industry.

CINEMATIC ARTS AND PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM

Shooting and Editing

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

Shooting and Editing introduces students to the fundamental concepts of digital filmmaking. This process touches upon the entire spectrum of video production, from developing an idea to distributing a finished work, and provides students with experience using professional-grade equipment and software. Students will gain this experience through many varied and engaging projects, such as music videos, daily blogs, and short documentaries. This class will also devote time to critical analysis of film, with screenings of selected films followed by discussion.


Advanced Shooting and Editing

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit
  • Pre-requisite: Shooting and Editing
  • Students may enroll only with approval from the instructor and Director of Studies.

Advanced Shooting and Editing provides a more challenging and accelerated curriculum in digital filmmaking for students who have mastered the fundamental concepts introduced in the standard class. Projects have less rigid guidelines to promote creative exploration from the students, but are also larger and more demanding in regard to thematic engagement and production. This class will also devote time to critical analysis of film, with screenings of selected films followed by discussion.


Video Effects

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

Video Effects introduces students to the fundamental concepts of creating visual effects for video. Students will first shoot and edit their own videos, and then build and integrate their own visual effects with professional-grade software. Students will gain experience through varied and engaging projects, such as how to make yourself fly, teleport, or use a light saber. This class will also devote time to critical analysis of film, with screenings of selected films followed by discussion.


Advanced Video Effects

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit
  • Pre-requisite: Shooting and Editing
  • Students may enroll only with approval from the instructor and Director of Studies.

Advanced Video Effects provides a more challenging and accelerated curriculum in video effects for students who have mastered the fundamental concepts introduced in Video Effects. On the one hand, projects have less rigid guidelines in order to promote creative exploration from the students, and on the other hand, projects are larger and more demanding regarding thematic engagement and production. This class will also devote time to critical analysis of film, with screenings of selected films followed by discussion. 


Screenwriting

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit
  • Note: This is a writing class, and does not involve any video production work.

Screenwriting introduces students to fundamentals of screenplay writing. Students will first study the essential building blocks of storytelling on-screen, and then combine that knowledge with the formative and stylistic idiosyncrasies of screenplay writing, to develop and produce their own short to feature-length screenplay. Classes will be divided between lectures on storytelling and film techniques, independent writing time, and group readings with feedback sessions to help each student realize the maximum potential of their screenplay ideas.


Short Film Production

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

Short Film Production is an opportunity for students to develop, produce, and distribute a short film (20-30 minutes in length). The class is a condensed simulation of producing feature-length films on a professional level, across all phases of development. Students will create and pitch an idea, write the screenplay, cast the actors, shoot and edit the film, and finally, distribute the finished project, which includes submitting the final work to various film festivals. This class will also devote time to critical analysis of film, with screenings of selected films followed by discussion, and provides opportunities for students to learn about the business practicalities of filmmaking, such as studio financing and distribution.


Creative Darkroom Techniques: Pushing the Limits

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course will survey a variety of traditional and non-traditional darkroom techniques to expand the range of artistic possibilities. Students will explore alternative means of applying photographic images on a variety of surfaces using innovative darkroom methods. Instruction will include demonstrations, lectures, exercises in the darkroom and individual projects. Processes covered will include pinhole cameras*, cyanotypes, creating photographic surfaces using liquid emulsion and UV prints. We will also work with infrared film and processing. Students will produce a portfolio of finished work. The School will provide all equipment, including cameras. Students will be responsible for purchasing photographic paper, which is sold in the School Store.


Digital Photography

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course is an introduction to digital photography where students learn the foundations of exposure and how to manipulate light using their DSLR camera and control functions such as aperture, shutter speeds, ISOs, white balance, color profiling, light metering, and image formats. While students are introduced to artistic composition and expression, they work extensively with Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw learning how to select and edit their images. 

Students provide their own DSLR cameras for the course. Nikon and Canon offer starter kits with one lens (18-55mm) or with a second zoom lens (55-200 mm). Suggested camera: Canon EOS Rebel with 18-55mm lens or a Nikon D3100 DSRL with 18-55mm. 


Advanced Digital Photography

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit
  • Prerequisite: Digital Photography

In this course students develop their shooting skills and use of their digital cameras and editing software. Students are introduced to various genres such as landscape, portraiture, and night photography while being exposed to masters such as Brassai, Kenna and Leibowitz. Projects are designed to increase artistic appreciation, visual literacy, as well as an ability to express oneself through an image. Advanced editing skills in Adobe Bridge, CameraRaw and Photoshop will be explored. 

Students provide their own DSLR cameras for the course. Nikon and Canon offer starter kits with one lens (18-55mm) or with a second zoom lens (55-200 mm). Suggested camera: Canon EOS Rebel with 18-55mm lens or a Nikon D3100 DSRL with 18-55mm.


Portfolio (2D and 3D work)

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit
  • Prerequisite: By teacher recommendation only

In this course students will create an art portfolio for college admissions and therefore must be serious and highly motivated in their study of art. While reviewing their interest, students will be expected to work independently on their projects and produce a wide range of artwork. This will be a process as they refine their selections to create a strong and coherent body of work. As a class, students will have regular critiques, learning to articulate and evaluate artwork. Students will learn how to write art statements as well as professionally present their work for review. 


Introduction to Animation

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course will allow students to learn the basic methods and principles of animation. Animation requires an abundance of drawing, and this course will teach the process of creating movement through sequential images. Students will develop their visual art skills and become familiar with digital art (aided with use of drawing tablets) and digital media. This art course provides the opportunity to draw from life and from imagination. Students will learn to use industry-level programs such as Adobe Animate, Adobe Premiere, and Adobe After Effects to create, edit, and fine-tune their animations. Students will create a short animation reel composed of exercises that will enhance their digital editing skills and show a basic understanding of animation techniques. 


Stop Motion Animation

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course will teach students the process of planning and creating stop motion animations. Students will create independent stop motion short films and collaborative class projects throughout the semester. Students will become familiar with using professional digital cameras. The course will cover use of editing software including Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere to edit video, images, and audio content. Students will explore the fundamentals of pixilation, Claymation, and marker board animation, among other stop motion methods. At the end of the semester, students will create video reels compiling all stop motion animation projects to present their work.


Maya 3D Animation

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course covers 3D modeling, texturing and animating in Autodesk Maya. The class will be introduced to Maya’s interface, modeling tools, and key frame animation tools. Students will learn the fundamentals of building 3D models, which will lead into exploration of basic principles of animation. This class has a project-based lesson plan, which will cover modeling, texturing, rigging, key framing, usage of the graph editor and other important tools within Maya to create and enhance 3D animations. Students will learn how to edit their exported 3D work in Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere to create short films. Students will create a reel of all projects completed throughout the semester.

music program

Students interested in enrolling in a performing ensemble (with the exception of Vocal) will be expected to complete an interview prior to enrollment. For current students, this can be scheduled at the end of the year, or be based on recommendations. 

Vocal Ensemble

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

Vocal Ensemble is a non-auditioned choral ensemble that rehearses and performs a variety of repertoire from various genres. Students will develop their vocal abilities, sight singing, and sense of ensemble and learn to critically analyze and implement technique in regular rehearsals. Members of the Vocal Ensemble will be expected to practice regularly outside of class and are encouraged to register for private voice lessons. Students will be required to perform at two on-campus performances during the semester. Those who are interested in more performance opportunities will be encouraged to develop solo repertoire. Apps: Tenuto


Guitar

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course is designed for students of all levels to begin, or continue their studies of the instrument. Students will have the opportunity to learn technique, music theory and a wide range of musical styles during class meetings and through an online curriculum, utilizing our Music Technology Lab. Guitar students will be expected to maintain a regular, individual practice routine outside of class, and are encouraged to enroll in the School’s private music lesson program. Students without instruments may utilize school-owned guitars. Apps: Tenuto, Clear Tune, Pro Metronome, JamPlay


Instrumental Ensemble I

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

Instrumental Ensemble is a course available to all instrumentalists and singers with a secondary instrument. The emphasis of this course is on building musicianship through group and solo performance, technique, and music theory. Ensemble students will be expected to maintain a regular individual practice routine outside of class and are encouraged to enroll in the school’s private music lesson program. The Instrumental Ensemble will be featured in at least two on-campus performances per semester.  Apps: Tenuto, Garage Band, Noteflight, iRealB, Clear Tune, Pro Metronome 


Instrumental Ensemble II

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit
  • By teacher recommendation only

This course is available to advanced instrumentalists and singers with a secondary instrument. The emphasis of this course is on building musicianship through group and solo performance, technique, music theory, history, and composition. Ensemble students will be expected to maintain a regular individual practice routine outside of class, and are encouraged to enroll in the School’s private music lesson program. Students enrolled in Advanced Instrumental Ensemble will perform in at least two concerts per semester as well as various formal and informal events both on and off campus.  Apps: Tenuto, Garage Band, Noteflight, iRealB, Clear Tune, Pro Metronome 


Music Theory and Composition

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit
  • By teacher recommendation only

This course is for highly disciplined and motivated music students. This class teaches students how music is constructed. Topics include note and rhythm reading, study of harmony and chord structures, transposition, orchestration, ear training, sight singing, and keyboard competency. Students will compose original music using the skills they develop during this course. Regular assessments will include theory and dictation (ear-training) quizzes, take-home composition projects, and homework from the music theory workbook or online resource. Recording technology and notation software will be implemented throughout this course.  Apps: Tenuto, Garage Band, Noteflight


Electronic Music

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course will provide an opportunity for students at any level of experience to create music. This project-based course will cover the basic music composition and production apps as well as traditional Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) programs in the Forman recording studio. Students will have the opportunity to compose, arrange, record, and engineer in the Music Technology class. Apps: Tenuto, Garage Band, Noteflight, Multitrack DAW


Music Workshop

  • All Grades
  • .5 credit

This course is designed for students interested in learning any new instrument, music basics, or focusing on an individual music project. Class meetings will regularly feature a ‘music essentials’ group lesson and independent work through the guidance of the instructor and with the help of various media (text, YouTube, Masterclass, etc.). The following school-owned instruments are available for use: Guitar, Bass, Drums, Percussion, Piano, Ukulele, Saxaphone, Clarinet, Flute, and Trumpet.

Additionally, rental instruments are available from a local music shop, so owning an instrument is not necessary. Music Workshop students will be expected to maintain a regular, individual practice routine outside of class, and are encouraged to enroll in the School’s private music lesson program. Apps: Tenuto, Clear Tune, Pro Metronome

THEATER PROGRAM

Improvisation and Sketch Comedy

  • All Grades
  • Class culminates in a public performance
  • .5 credit

Improv Olympic (iO) creators Charna Halpern and Del Close tell the story of how they named their improvisation and sketch comedy performances “Harold” as a reference to George Harrison calling his haircut “Arthur” in the film “A Hard Day’s Night.” In this workshop we will learn the basics of improvisation performance as well as craft our own loosely scripted material and build several games and scenes into a culminating performance that will be performed live in front of an audience- our own “Harold.” Students will be expected to bring a notebook, IPad or laptop to class for writing their own material, and should be physically and vocally free enough to participate in freewheeling stage games and exercises that will require them to be outside of their comfort zone, think on their feet, respond in the moment, create characters and commit to bold innovative choices. 


Public Speaking

  • All Grades
  • Class culminates in a public performance
  • .5 credit

Students will identify material they would like to present live, whether it is borrowed form other writers or from their own journals. Students will learn the elements of vocal variety and of stage presence as they work on a variety of pieces from poetry to selections from other literature, lifting the text from the page to the stage as they enter the world of “spoken word” performance.


Theater Production and Design

  • All Grades
  • Requires ability and willingness to memorize lines
  • .5 credit 
  • This course can be taken for multiple semesters

Students will be involved in providing support to the Forman Ensemble Players annual season of three productions by participating in the scenic, prop, lighting and sound needs of each play. Willing daily class involvement is expected, as the course is experiential and project based; the work will at times be heavy and/or sloppy. Students can expect to learn to use tools, to work as a team, to paint, to build and to help solve technical problems as they arise. Each production process will begin with a full in-class out-loud reading of the text being produced by the Forman Ensemble Players. Students will be asked to keep a change of clothes on hand in the Art Center so that they can change for class when the tasks at hand require it.


Acting I: Monologue and Scene Study

  • All Grades
  • Requires ability and willingness to memorize lines
  • Class culminates in a public performance
  • .5 credit

A workshop for actors to hone their craft through memorization, staging and performance of selected scenes and monologues from a variety of classic and contemporary plays in various genres. Students will be asked to participate in the selection of material, read aloud in class, keep a process journal, memorize their scenes, and perform live in front of an audience. Students will be expected to work collegially and professionally with a variety of partners as well as perform solo. Prior acting experience is not required; the class is open to even seasoned performers.


Acting II: The Art of the One Act Play

  • All Grades
  • Requires ability and willingness to memorize lines
  • Class culminates in a public performance
  • .5 credit
  • This course can be taken for multiple semesters
  • Prerequisite: Students must previously have taken another theater performance class. 

For the more experienced performer, this workshop will begin with readings of selected texts in an effort to identify work(s) that are appropriate for each unique group to fully mount on our stage. All students in the class will all be expected to play a role in the selected piece(s) which will be rehearsed in class and performed live in front of an audience. Students will be expected to memorize lines according to deadlines, to work effectively as members of a performing arts ensemble, and to keep a process journal. This is not a beginning level class and is open only to juniors and seniors who have previously taken another theatrical performance class or by permission of the instructor.


Advanced Acting: Exploring Character through Scenes and Monologue 

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit
  • Pre-requisite: Acting I or II, and with permission of the instructor

This workshop style class will continue to use both monologue and small scenes to work on character development. The different techniques of acting will be discussed and practiced. Students will help each other by watching each other’s performance and giving critical feedback about what they see and hear. Students will be expected to memorize lines, meet deadlines, work solo as well as collaboratively. This is not a beginner’s level class.

Graduation Requirements & Course Selection Guide

To earn a Forman diploma, students must successfully meet the following credit requirements:

  • 4 credits of English
  • 3 credits of Mathematics
  • 3 credits of History, including U.S. History
  • 3 credits of Science, including two lab Sciences
  • 1 credit of Thinking and Writing
  • 1 credit of Introduction to Academic Reading, Metacognitive Strategies or Executive Function Coaching
  • 1 credit of Perspectives in Learning
  • 2 credits in the Arts
  • 2 credits of a World Language are strongly recommended
  • 1.5 credit Health and Wellness
  • .5 credit Winterim, per year
  • 10 hours of Community Service, per year

Click here for the Course Selection Guide

 

Forman School
12 Norfolk Road, P.O. Box 80, Litchfield, CT 06759
Phone: 860.567.8712
Fax: 860.567.8317

 

Forman School is a coeducational, preparatory boarding and day school for grades 9-PG exclusively dedicated to empowering bright students who learn differently.

 

 

 

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