The Birch Wathen Lenox School shows students of every age how to self-discover in creative, visual, and artistic facets of their education. The combination of resources within the School and around New York City provides the broad foundation from which magnificent artistic endeavors emerge.
Students in each grade, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, benefit from both studio-based instruction and on-stage performances throughout each year. There are weekly opportunities to sing, act, dance, publicly speak, or display artwork. Also, special traditional events held each year celebrate students’ impressive artistic achievements.
Visual and applied arts incorporate a wide variety of materials and media, allowing students to develop skills and self-confidence with the success of each project. Painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and woodworking are among the subjects offered, with the intimacy of low student-to-teacher ratios ensuring that every student receives individual attention. Group projects underline other skill sets, such as those of cooperation, decision making, and turn-taking.
A continuous display of student work around the entire School culminates with the annual BWL Art Show, especially designed to celebrate talents in visual arts as well as in music. Annual projects such as the Senior Art Calendar and the photography/literary magazine Leaves reward students with recognition from the community at large. The phenomenal New York City museums and galleries are utilized at every grade level with regular visits and memberships given to Upper School students. A mandatory Art History course is taught in Grade Nine, exposing the students to the history and cultures which have influenced our art world today.
Musical and dramatic performances throughout the year are thrilling highlights for the BWL community. Instruction commences in Lower School with chorus rehearsals, in addition to violin, viola or cello lessons beginning in Grade Four. It is evident that the rise in self-esteem is fostered by performances at all levels, ranging from Kindergarteners at the Holiday Concert to the Upper School students in their “Pop Co-op” workshop.An annual fall drama and spring musical showcase the talent and energy of Middle and Upper School students, who perform in our state-of-the-art auditorium, where there is an expansive front-and-back- stage, control room, and high technology audio visual sound system. Additionally, at the top of the buildng, there is a window-lit Performing Arts Center equipped with computers and musical instruments to aid instruction, and a dance floor and ballet barre to support the teaching of dance and movement.
Every year, BWL’ s “ year ” theme offers a basis from which visual auditory draw inspiration. Every discipline incorporating aspects of arts into its curriculum, students are sure command deeper comprehension vital, expressive role art in world around them. members the middle upper school, for example, have expanded their understanding of various masterpieces by William Shakespeare bringing his works to life with abridged performances, and even by attending professional plays at a local new york city theater. this interdisciplinary, hands-on approach creates intense, vivid, long-lasting impressions on students.
It is with great pride that the School community witnesses the consistently dedicated and always dynamic results of every grade’s artistic efforts. BWL’s superior departments of art, music and drama are committed to inspiring students to enrich themselves beyond a level they ever thought possible, and to help instill a timeless appreciation of these disciplines long after graduating from BWL.