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Visual Arts

From painting to printmaking, ceramics to sculpture, wood to whatever inspires you, the choice of medium is large and the opportunity for artistic development is XXL. Courses, grouped into 2D and 3D, progress from foundational (learning basic techniques and studio use) to AP (including preparing portfolios for college applications). Along the way, you’ll develop not only your art and design skills, but also your problem-solving, creativity, and confidence.

SSSAS strives to make the arts accessible—to anyone, anywhere, and at (almost) any time. We offer “open studios” (available outside of class), summer courses, and arts-related activities, from smART (after-school service program) to Fire & Stones (art and literary magazine). And we encourage our student-artists to take part in off-campus exhibits and competitions, where they frequently win awards.

More than accolades, though, what we really want you take away from the visual arts program is an understanding and love of art.

The Lower School

The JK-12 visual arts program is a cumulative and comprehensive approach to creative development. Students observe the world around them and manipulate tools and materials to communicate ideas visually. The personal growth of each student as an artist is encouraged through observation, reflection, interpretation, and expression of ideas. Students are exposed to a plethora of creative possibilities, including the artistic output of individuals and cultures worldwide so that they may learn, as well, through the artistic expression of others. Students learn to find and make connections among art and all other disciplines. Ultimately, they value originality and self-discovery through the creative process.

The Middle School

In the Middle School, students are exposed to a range of art materials and techniques in order to further their understandings of the elements and principles of design. As they explore a wide variety of media, the skills of observation, craftsmanship, problem-solving, and individual creative expression are promoted. Students begin to analyze and understand their own creative process—from inspiration to idea formulation to final production—and to account for the role that materials as well as ideas play in the creative process.

The Upper School

At the Upper School, students are encouraged to take foundational classes that expose them to a variety of media before pursuing more advanced areas of study. Upper School faculty stress the importance of developing technical skill as well as personal voice through in-depth study into a variety of media. We offer courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, wood, metal and stone sculpture, jewelry, digital and media arts, as well as opportunities to collaborate across disciplines. Projects are designed to maximize creative problem solving, meaning-making, and collaboration. From introductory classes to advanced, students are encouraged to submit their work for exhibition and publication, as well as document their progress through visual journals.

Gaining Confidence

Each year many of our Upper School artists participate in a variety of art competitions. We believe each student who enters is a winner. The act of entering a competition requires time and reflection, a process that helps them to identify, establish, and find their voices and artistic concepts. Displaying their work to others allows them to see beyond their personal visions and gives them the opportunity to view their works from an outside perspective.

During the past three years, Saints have participated in the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Regionally, 43 of our student artists have been awarded 15 Gold Keys, 29 Silver Keys, and 50 Honorable Mentions. One Gold Key winner who advanced to the national competition won a national Silver Key. They have also entered the Alexandria All City High School Art Exhibition, where they have received awards for the Best Digital Design, Sculpture, Ceramic, 2D Art, Mixed Media, and Best of School; and they have placed in the Annual Congressional Art Competition and the Best of the Independent Schools Art Competition.  
Design thinking empowers students to understand and solve complex problems through creativity and innovation.

Fire & Stones

View the most recent issues of our Upper School student literary and art magazine:

Lower School Visual Arts Faculty

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Jade Xia

    Ms. Jade Xia 

    Visual Arts Teacher
    (703) 212-2823

Middle School Visual Arts Faculty

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Katherine Towle

    Ms. Katherine Towle 

    Visual Arts Teacher
    (703) 212-2901
  • Photo of Brandon Royal

    Mr. Brandon Royal 

    Visual Arts and Language Teacher (French)
  • Photo of Thomas Bunnell

    Mr. Thomas Bunnell 

    Visual Arts Teacher

Upper School Visual Arts Faculty

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Katherine Elkins

    Ms. Katherine Elkins 

    Visual Arts Department Chair
  • Photo of Joseph Wade

    Mr. Joseph Wade 

    Visual Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Sean Riley

    Mr. Sean Riley 

    Visual Arts Teacher
Age 3-Grade 12 coed Episcopal day school in Alexandria, Virginia


List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Age 3-Grade 5
    400 Fontaine Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22302
  • Middle School

    Grades: 6-8
    4401 West Braddock Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304
  • Upper School

    Grades: 9-12
    1000 St. Stephen's Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304