Students have formal art instruction starting in the three-year-old preschool and visit the lower school art studio once a week through the 5th grade, and 6th graders take art for a quarter.
High school students have the option of taking one of the following 19 courses in visual arts: AP Studio Art (Drawing), AP Studio Art (2-D Design), AP Studio Art (3-D Design Ceramics), AP Studio Art (3-D Design Sculpture), Art I-IV, Ceramics I-IV, 2-D Design, Photography I & II, Print Design I & II, Sculpture I-IV.
Our campus has three art studios for instruction, complete with a kiln room for ceramics and a digital photography lab. Hundreds of pieces of student work are on display in nearly every building on campus in special display cases and on the walls.
Students enter their work and receive recognition at the Congressional Art Competition, the S.C. Independent School Association State Art Show, the Converse Women in Art Show, the Sumter County Fair Art Show, and ArtFields Jr. A high school student is highlighted as the Artist of the Month with his or her work displayed in the Fine Arts Building each month.
Carlie Fort ‘22, the Artist of the Month, poses with some of her artwork that is on display. She is a student in the Advanced Placement Studio Art (3-D Design Ceramics) class taught by Mrs. Ashley Lareau.
Ten students received ribbons, including four blue ribbons, in the Sumter County Fair Art Show. The following students won first place in their respective divisions and received blue ribbons: Karsen Jones ‘29 - two-dimensional mixed media, Sophie Miller ‘26 - two-dimensional mixed media, Adam Pelletier - photography, and Michael Thorne ‘26 - painting. Placing second was Emmi Leard ‘24 - drawing, and receiving third-place ribbons were the following students: Lainey Lee ‘30 - two-dimensional mixed media, Sophia Levi ‘28 - drawing, Amelie Lucas ‘28 - painting, Walker Rivers ‘30 - two-dimensional mixed media, and Andrew Smith ‘24 - photography. The art teachers are Mrs. Ashley Lareau, Mrs. Cynthia Hall McGrady ‘15 and Mrs. Tara Schumacher.
Emily Gray ‘21 won the Congressional Art Competition and her artwork will hang in the United States Capitol to represent the 5th Congressional District of South Carolina. Each spring a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the members of the U.S. House of Representatives. This competition, open to high school students, is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation. The over-all winner of each district's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol.
Emily’s winning entry, “The Knot,” depicts ordinary forms, a length of red fabric twisted into a knotted shape, with extraordinary precision. The result is a surprising twist of trompe l’oeil that suggests a visual struggle between color, clarity and dimension. The viewer may interpret the struggle as physical or emotional, a question which makes the piece even more interesting. Emily is a student in the Advanced Placement Art & Design (Drawing) class taught by Mrs. Tara Schumacher.
Thirteen students received recognition in the S.C. Independent School Association State Art Competition. Winning first place in their respective divisions were Wil Alexander ‘30 (painting), Carlie Fort ‘22 (pottery) and Jacob Watt ‘21 (sculpture). Placing second in the competition were Amelie Lucas ‘28 (painting) and Wade Payne ‘21 (pottery). The following students received an honorable mention: Rachel Bostic ‘22 (pottery), Nick Craine ‘22 (photography), Gavin Getz ‘28 (3-Dimensional), Emily Gray ‘21 (drawing), Claire Kirkley ‘21 (drawing and painting), Divya Patel ‘28 (3-Dimensional), Ga-In Shin ‘21 (mixed media), and Kaitlyn Smith ‘21 (sculpture). The art teachers of these award-winning students are Mrs. Ashley Lareau, Mrs. Cynthia McGrady, and Mrs. Tara Schumacher.
Emily Gray ‘21 won first place for her drawing in the high school division of the S.C. Art Education Association Youth Art Month Show. She participated in the central region show, which includes 13 counties, that was open to all high school students in public and private schools. Emily’s artwork will be displayed in the state’s Youth Art Month virtual show which can be found on the SCAEA website.
Senior Ga-In Shin is the 2-D Artist of the Month. She is a student in the Advanced Placement Studio Art (Drawing) class taught by Mrs. Tara Schumacher.
Senior Amp Boonaneksap is the March 3-D Artist of the Month. She is a student in the Advanced Placement 3-D Art (Ceramics) class taught by Mrs. Ashley Lareau.
Emily Gray '21 won Best of Show for her drawing in the highly competitive Young Women in Art Juried Exhibition at Converse College. She is a student in the Advanced Placement Drawing class taught by Mrs. Tara Schumacher. Also recognized in the show were Kaitlyn Smith ‘21, a student in the AP 3-D Art (Sculpture) class taught by Mr. Schumacher, who won first place in sculpture. Amp Boonaneksap ‘21, a student in the AP 3-D Art (Ceramics) class taught by Mrs. Ashley Lareau, received an honorable mention in ceramics.
The following students also had their work selected for the show, an accomplishment in itself: Jerica Bozio ‘21, Catharine Busch ‘21, Carlie Fort ‘22, Claire Kirkley ‘21 and Ga-In Shin ‘21.
The purpose of the exhibition is to provide a venue to recognize exemplary art works of young women in high school, to help students begin to prepare for a major in art while still in grades 9-12, and to introduce them to the Converse College Department of Art and Design and the variety of majors offered to women. All young women in South Carolina in grades 9-12 were eligible to submit entries to the exhibition which will be presented virtually beginning March 12.