Upper School

Visual Art

The Upper School visual art program fosters conceptual visual expression across a wide variety of media and disciplines. From drawing and painting to ceramics to digital and darkroom photography to art history, studios and classrooms provide innovative spaces for a challenging, intellectual approach to creation.  

All Ellis students take arts classes through the tenth grade and have a firm foundation in design, digital media skills, and art history that prepares them for further art training and the ability to apply important creative tools in their other coursework.  

Students reach beyond the studios via opportunities for authentic Raku and wood firing experiences, figure drawing, and internship possibilities with an array of local arts institutions. A biennial Fine Arts Festival, annual Senior Show, and regular in-school exhibitions offer students the chance to show and discuss their work. We are proud of the excellent work our students submit to the prestigious Scholastics Art and Writing Awards competition and of the many regional and national awards they have received. Visits by practicing artists, supportive emphasis on risk-taking, multiple iterations of creative problem solving, and a dynamic balance between independent and collaborative work are constants across the curriculum.

Upper School Visual Arts News

List of 3 news stories.

  • Ellis Students Win 98 Scholastic Art Awards

    The Ellis School continues to have strong success at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winning a total of 98 awards among 68 different students! Girls in grades 7-12 are encouraged to submit their artwork to the awards which is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious arts recognition program.
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  • Ellis Faculty to Participate in Handmade Arcade on December 3

    The Ellis School is excited to announce its participation in Pittsburgh’s annual Handmade Arcade on Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the David Lawrence Convention Center.
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  • Fostering Creativity

    The Ellis School puts great focus on education in STEAM–science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. In conjunction with this creative mentality, The Ellis School is developing a fabrication laboratory, or “fab lab.” The small digital workshop will allow students to use industrial-grade technology tools like 3D printers, laser etchers, and vinyl cutters to turn ideas into inventions.
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Art in Upper School

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