Fine & Performing Arts
The beauty of the arts at Gow is that they allow students to use different skill sets. Integral to our program, art is not pushed aside to fit language remediation or extra help. Some of our students deepen existing artistic strengths. Others discover hidden talents. All can develop skills and express their creative voices. In fact, it’s not unusual for our graduates—as many as a third some years—to choose art majors, arts colleges, and artistic careers.
Like other academic areas, visual art requires discipline, focus, and problem-solving skills. Unlike other areas, it is primarily non-verbal, leading many dyslexics to enjoy and excel at it.
Gow offers painting, drawing, 3D art (sculpture), pottery, art history, and, within the Applied Technology Department, computer graphics and photography. Art history, which typically has lots of reading and writing, integrates more classroom discussion—another example of how we teach with an understanding of students’ learning styles. Depending on the art, courses are offered at basic, intermediate, and/or advanced levels. Many upper-level students develop college entrance portfolios and have their own dedicated studio space.
As with the visual arts, all Gow students take theater. In the basic course, they work on aspects from pantomime and improvisation through stagecraft, set construction, and lighting to playwriting. Those who may want to continue dramatic pursuits beyond Gow continue to the intermediate level, where they learn to prepare monologues, practice for auditions, and direct plays and skits. Other topics include theater history, performance theory, make-up, and prosthetics.
Regardless of the courses they’ve taken, students can participate in fall and spring productions as actors/actresses, set builders, and stage crew. The Gow School has a rich tradition of staging productions in the black box–style Simms Family Theater. To recognize the exceptional achievement of our most dedicated theater students, the school recently chartered a troupe of the International Thespian Society.
Though Gow does not offer formal music courses, there are plenty of opportunities to play or sing. Students can take private or group instrumental or voice lessons for an additional fee. They can participate in club groups: the Music Ensemble and Gow Vocalists. They can perform in several small studio recitals and two (Christmas and spring) public recitals annually. And they can make music at daily assembly and ceremonies such as graduation.
From the visual-spatial to the musical, students’ artistic talents and skills are nurtured at Gow. We know that playing a role on stage can play an important role in a student’s life, and we encourage all our students to immerse themselves in the creative process.