Our Mission

To provide Poly students with an educational program of the highest quality, which prepares them for a lifetime of artistic appreciation and activity.
Seek a balance between offering a great variety of visual arts disciplines and the opportunity to achieve at an advanced level in a chosen discipline.
Support all Poly students to develop their creative thinking skills and ability to express themselves in an original, purposeful fashion.

Holistic Teaching Model

The Visual Arts Department has developed its own teaching method exclusively used at Poly. The world of art is divided into four areas:
  1. History
  2. Theory
  3. Technique/Process
  4. The Big Picture (how art relates to life and other disciplines).
Poly students develop observational, research, and descriptive skills through carefully constructed projects, with shifting emphasis on each of these four areas.

K-12 Visual Arts Program

Poly students in grades K-12 take performing arts classes as part of their academic experience. The following are distinguishing attributes of the visual arts program across the three Poly divisions:

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    • Student Centered
    • Holistic Teaching
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Visual Literacy
    • Manual Dexterity
    • Reflection (Seesaw)
    • Annual Spring student exhibition
    • Foundation studies
    • Kindergarten-5th grade: Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Printmaking, Jewelry Design, Weaving, and Digital Art
  • Middle School

    • Self-Discovery
    • Holistic Teaching
    • Elements and Principles of Art
    • Styles of Art
    • Foundation studies
    • 6th grade: 2-D/3-D (Art History, Wood Design, Drawing and Painting)
    • 7th grade: 2-D/3-D (Enameling, Ceramics, Drawing and Painting)
    • 8th grade: Electives (Ceramics, Digital Art, Drawing and Painting, Wood Design)
  • Upper School

    • Group Critiques
    • Formal Art Analysis
    • Holistic Teaching
    • Observational Drawing (figure, landscape, still life)
    • Abstract Thinking Skills
    • Function of Art
    • Research
    • Independence
    • Year-long History and Application Courses
    • Visual Art, History and Application with main focus on Art History, and Studio Art Fundamentals
    • Annual AP Student Exhibition
    • Annual Spring Student Exhibition
    • Electives: Ceramics, Digital Art, Drawing, Enameling, Filmmaking, Painting, Photography, Sculpture; AP Art and Design (Drawing, and 2-D Art and Design)

Poly Student Art Portfolio

Visual Arts Studios

Visiting Artist Program

To enrich the cultural life of the Poly community, an established, local artist is invited to become Poly’s visiting artist for the year. The visiting artist introduces their work to the community, has a solo exhibition, and meets with Poly classes throughout the year.

List of Visiting Artists:
  • Allison Miller, Painter
  • Nancy Monk, Painter, Designer
  • Don Hall, Oscar Winning Film Director
  • Carole Babcock, Sculptor
  • Fridgeir Trausti Helgason, Photographer
  • Ann Cutting, Ceramicist, Photographer

Da Vinci Project

In the spirit of the great Renaissance artist, Leonardo Da Vinci, sketchbooks are available to all Poly students, irregardless of whether they are taking a visual arts class, to draw, sketch, doodle, write, calculate, invent,
and analyze.

Visual Arts Faculty

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Arnor Bieltvedt

    Arnor Bieltvedt 

    Chair, Visual Arts Department; Middle and Upper School Visual Arts
  • Photo of Jennifer Godwin Minto

    Jennifer Godwin Minto 

    Upper School Visual Arts; Upper School Yearbook Advisor; Photographer
  • Photo of Anna Helm

    Anna Helm 

    Middle and Upper School Visual Arts
  • Photo of Patrick Jackson

    Patrick Jackson 

    Visual Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Marissa Reece-Jackson

    Marissa Reece-Jackson 

    Lower School Visual Arts
  • Photo of Jennifer Raftery

    Jennifer Raftery 

    Middle and Upper School Visual Arts