Learn more about KUA's inspired teachers and the courses they teach.

Online Coursebook

Select a department to explore course offerings and meet the faculty members.

Courses and Faculty by Department

Visual Arts

In the classroom, students choose from a wide range of fine arts from introductory to the AP levels. Taught by teachers who are all working artists, students will learn to work in materials such as oil and acrylic paint, pencil and charcoal, wood, clay, and digital printing. All classes integrate history, theory, and aesthetics within a hands-on production environment. 

In addition, afternoon activities allow aspiring artists to spend additional time in the studios. From ceramics to jewelry to woodworking, the visual arts are an important part of the cultural fabric at Kimball Union.

Learn more about the Arts at KUA.
  • Introduction to Architecture

    (winter; 1/3 credit)

    This course will provide a broad overview of the architectural profession in order to better understand the built environment.  Architecture and engineering’s relationship to building structures will be introduced through visual explorations of published and on-site examples as a way to become acquainted with architectural styles and important world architecture.  The class will draw from historical and cultural examples found around the world and right on the KUA campus, host guest lecturers from the profession, and participate in hands-on activities.  Students will gain exposure to the various disciplines of engineering, landscape architecture, sustainable design, and urban planning that contribute to the built environment. Working individually or in small teams, the class will culminate with students participating in a design activity that is within their own area of interest.
  • 2-D Design

    (winter; 1/3 credit)

    This course will provide a foundation for the fundamentals of design.  It is a great fit for anyone who is interested in graphics, fashion, fabric, industrial and even landscape design. Students will work with both traditional drawing materials and Photoshop to explore the following concepts: composition, figure-ground relationships, pattern, scale and proportion, value, color, motion and typography.
    Students will develop a broad design vocabulary as well as a repertoire of practical techniques. All projects will be introduced with a background of historical and cultural context and are hands-on in nature.  The class is designed with a progressive sequence of projects that will begin with the fundamentals and conclude with students creating a more complex design project within their own area of interest.
  • AP Art History

    (Junior or Senior; full year; 1 credit; Prerequisite: Average grade of B or better in English and history and Permission of the teacher)

    Taken for either a history or arts credit, this course examines the art and architecture of the world from prehistoric times to the present with a focus on the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts within their different cultural contexts. Classes use a slide/lecture/discussion format as well as some hands-on projects. Grades are based on quizzes, tests, presentations, and writing assignments. Students have the opportunity to see some of the art in person through visits to ments. Students have the opportunity to see some of art in person thrrough vists to major Boston and Hanover museums. This course is for upper-class students, and all students will take the AP exam at the end of the year. (Additional fee for students who choose to sit the AP exam.)
     
  • AP Studio Art

    (full year; 1 credit; Prerequisites: Advanced standing and Permission of the teacher)

    This full-year course offers an intensive study the visual arts and is offered to juniors and seniors who have met the prerequisites. Class projects are designed to help students develop their technical competence and to enhance their breadth of artistic knowledge as well as to provide opportunities for creative self-expression. Students work in a wide variety of media from traditional drawing and painting to computer-generated design. Senior art students may create portfolios for college admissions and AP students may design a long-term project for inclusion into their AP portfolio submission. (Additional fee for students who choose to sit the AP exam.)
  • Ceramics

    (winter; 1/3 credit; Prerequisite: Introduction to Ceramics or Permission of the instructor)

    This intermediate course strives to bring students to the next levels of technique, applied craftsmanship, and development of their unique artistic voice. With a focus on surface and form, students have the choice of completing assignments through hand-building techniques or on the wheel. A variety of surface treatments are covered in more depth as forms become more complex. Students are challenged to refine their perception and push their creative comfort zone.
  • Digital Photography I-Digital Imaging

    (fall and spring; 1/3 credit)

    This course is an introduction to digital photography. Using a digital camera and a computer as tools, students will produce images from digital cameras and/or scanned negatives, slides, and prints.They will create and manipulate photographic imagery to produce a portfolio of digitally enhanced photographs. The class will cover basic digital camera controls, formatting, lighting, composition, and basic digital darkroom techniques. Students may be required to provide their own digital camera.
  • Digital Video Production

    (spring; 1/3 credit)
     
    Students in this course create video using digital media, cameras, and professional video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. The course focuses on capturing video, editing, writing storyboards, and creating short original movies. Developing original sound tracks and scores may be part of the projects as well.
  • Digital Video Production II

    (spring; 1/3 credit) - Digital Video Production is a prerequisite
     
    Students in this course continue to create video using digital media, cameras, and professional video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. The course focuses on capturing video, editing, writing storyboards, and creating short original movies. Developing original sound tracks and scores may be part of the projects as well.  This is the advanced version of the Digital Video Production Course.
  • Foundation Drawing

    (winter; 1/3 credit)

    This introductory drawing course explores the elements of art and design. Using a variety of drawing media, students learn to draw accurately from observation. Students are also encouraged to find their own creative voice through the exploration of various expressive styles. This course or an equivalent is a prerequisite for all other studio art courses.
  • Introduction to Ceramics

    (fall, winter, and spring; 1/3 credit)

    This introductory course is designed for students with little or no prior experience working with clay. Students get acquainted with both hand-building techniques (slab-work, coiling, pinching) and working on a potter’s wheel. Personal expression is fostered through different surface treatments and glaze options. With its focus on functional ware, students can expect to have completed an assortment of pieces meant for daily use by the end of the class.  
  • Jewelry

    (fall and spring; 1/3 credit)

    This class introduces students with little or no experience in jewelry making to the fundamental techniques of metalsmithing. Through work with both metal clays and traditional methods of silversmithing, students gain a variety of skills that allow them to express their ideas and creativity in personal designs. While materials for some projects are included in the class, students will be charged for supplies used beyond those. They can expect to have finished several pieces of wearable art by the end of this trimester-long class.    
  • Painting

    (fall and spring; 1/3 credit)

    This course focuses on the element of color. Through painting and design projects, students learn how to use color to achieve a variety of results including: effective design, personal expression, and the exploration of the world around us. Students also learn technical skills for working in acrylic, oil, watercolor, and other media.
  • Studio Art Advanced I

    (full year; 1 credit; Prerequisites: Advanced standing and Permission of the teacher)

    This full-year course offers an intensive study in the visual arts and is offered to juniors and seniors who have met the prerequisites. Class projects are designed to help students develop their technical competence and to enhance their breadth of artistic knowledge as well as to provide opportunities for creative self-expression. Students work in a wide variety of media from traditional drawing and painting to computer-generated design. Senior art students may create portfolios for college admissions and AP students may design a long-term project for inclusion into their AP portfolio submission.
  • Studio Art Advanced II

    (full year; 1 credit; Prerequisites: Advanced standing and Permission of the teacher)

    This full-year course offers an intensive study in the visual arts and is offered to juniors and seniors who have met the prerequisites. Class projects are designed to help students develop their technical competence and to enhance their breadth of artistic knowledge as well as to provide opportunities for creative self-expression. Students work in a wide variety of media from traditional drawing and painting to computer-generated design. Senior art students may create portfolios for college admissions and AP students may design a long-term project for inclusion into their AP portfolio submission.
  • Woodworking

    (spring; 1/3 credit)

    This course is a hands on introduction to woodworking based on an old-world approach to basic woodworking skills. Lecture demonstration provides instruction on the elements of design, shop drawings, wood science and tool use. Topics covered include care and use of hand tools, shop safety, and the introduction of power equipment. Basic joinery and fundamental techniques of wood fabrication are explored through a series of assigned projects.

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  • Graduation Requirements

    Each student must accumulate 19 credits in order to be a candidate for graduation. In addition, seniors are required to earn a passing grade in each of their courses to qualify for graduation. Specific course requirements are below and constitute 17 credits of the 19 needed for graduation. The remaining two credits must be earned in advanced level courses in two departments.

    • English: 4 credits
    • Science: 3 credits from lab courses (one of which must be Biology)
    • Mathematics: 3 credits (through Algebra II and one year beyond Algebra II if possible)
    • World Languages: 3 credits in one language
    • History: 3 credits (one of which must be US History)
    • Art: 1 credit (which must include one trimester of Dance/Theatre and one trimester of Visual/Music)

    Each year, all students must carry at least five year-long core classes.

Faculty

  • Julie Haskell

    Dean of Faculty, Arts Department Chair, Art Teacher
    Bio
  • Darrell Beaupre

    English Teacher
    Bio
  • Ursula Fries-Herfort

    Learning Center Teacher, Ceramics Teacher, Taylor Gallery Director
    Bio
  • Kay McCabe

    Dance Teacher, College Advisor
    Bio
  • Philip Montenegro

    Spanish Teacher
  • M. Hunter Ulf

    Chief Operating Officer, Visual Arts Teacher
    Bio

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Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  · info@kua.org
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.