Creative exploration

The mission of the Visual and Performing Arts Departments is to provide students with an educational program of the highest possible quality that prepares them for a lifetime of artistic appreciation, and activity. The arts environment at Poly is one that nurtures creativity, intellectual curiosity, and aesthetic understanding, as well as one that establishes a firm foundation in skills, content, and experience.

The department seeks a balance between offering a broad exposure to the arts and providing students the opportunity to achieve at an advanced level in the areas of their choice. We believe in the premise that art is learned, and we strive to create an atmosphere that couples discipline with the freedom to explore creative expression.

The Visual Arts Department strives to encourage art students to step free from their comfort zone, embrace the possibility of failure, and be responsible for honesty and truth in their work. We encourage students to trust their inspiration and infuse their craftsmanship with compassion, creativity, and positivity. Through a holistic approach, we encourage taking risks and exploring different media.

The Performing Arts Department is committed to three core principles:

  • Art, while innate in some, can be learned by all. We therefore balance excellence with exploration, discipline with freedom, and consummate preparation with bold artistic risk.
  • Art, while intrinsically valuable unto itself, educates the whole student. We therefore teach not only drama, music, and dance, but through them integrity, exploration, compassion, acceptance, resilience, confidence, humility, diversity, and love.
  • Art, while the purest form of personal expression, transcends the personal and, through collaboration, connects the artist to the ensemble, the ensemble to the community, and the community to the world. We therefore value process over product and encourage students to “love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.”
The mission of the Department, driven by these three core principles, is to provide students with an artistic educational program of the highest quality that nurtures creativity, curiosity, and understanding; teaches students to know themselves and open their hearts to others; and establishes a firm foundation in skills, content, experience, and character.



Learn more about Lower School Visual Arts.

Learn more about Lower School Performing Arts.

Learn about Middle School Arts.

Learn about Upper School Arts.

Arts beyond Poly

Arts Events

List of 3 events.

  • PASC Fifth Quarter

    Location: Garland Auditorium, Upper Garland Studio
    More Details
  • Upper School Musical Performance

    Location: Garland Auditorium, Garland Lobby, Lower Garland Studio
  • Upper School Musical Performance

    Location: Garland Auditorium, Garland Lobby, Lower Garland Studio
View All Events
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Pasadena, CA 91106 | Phone 626.396.6300 | Fax 626.796.2249
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