The Visual Arts Department at Poly Prep emphasizes the practice of studio art by helping students develop a sensibility and a commitment to the hands-on, experiential process of art-making. We expose students to a range of ideas, methods, and materials to promote their visual literacy.
We also ask students to participate in a critical analysis of the meaning and practice of studio art. All courses complement studio practice with an investigation into the historical and cultural backgrounds of various periods and styles. We further develop issues relevant to art through discussion, critique, slides, videos, readings, written work, workshops, visiting artists, field trips, and student exhibitions. We emphasize the relationship between art and life to foster an innovative and personal approach to the making of art. The department also works to have students reflect on how art can be a way to think critically and creatively about the world around them.
Our students learn and grow as artists as they work with our faculty in outstanding art-making facilities. Middle and Upper School students use two large, light-filled, loft-like spaces for drawing, painting, doing collage, and other two- dimensional artwork. The ceramics studio makes up our third indoor art-making space. Equipped with potters’ wheels and drying racks, our ceramics studio also offers students the rare opportunity to use multiple professional-level kilns (gas-fired, electric, and raku) to enhance their understanding of firing and glazing, both technically and as a means of personal expression. Of course, with our 25-acre college-like campus and our greenhouse, Poly students can also explore the natural world to train the hand and eye, and as a subject of representation.
Exhibitions and Visiting Experts
Key to the development of young artists are opportunities to prepare and exhibit their work and to interact with professionals and visiting experts. At Poly, the Visual Arts Department is committed to yearlong rotating displays of student artwork on the walls and in the hallways of the school. Each year, we also mount three major shows of student work, in the winter and spring, and the annual Senior Show—one each with its epicenter in the Tower Gallery, a dedicated art exhibition space at the base of Poly’s “Tall White Tower.” Each year, we also organize a visiting artists week for Middle and Upper students which includes an intensive round of workshops and master classes given by visiting professional artists, including Poly parents and alumni.
Explore our Curriculum
Visual Arts Faculty
List of 7 members.
Visual Arts (Upper School)
(718) 836-9800 ext. 3840
Visual Arts Department Chair
(718) 836-9800 ext. 6050
Laura Coppola '95
Visual Arts; Performing Arts (Upper School)
(718) 836-9800 ext. 3730
Middlebury College - BA Hunter College - MA
Art (Middle School)
(718) 836-9800 ext. 6809
Yong Hwi Kim P'22
Visual Arts (Middle/Upper School)
(718) 836-9800, ext. 6140
Kem Young University - BFA Long Island University, C.W. Post - MFA