Arts

A

rts classes, curriculum and instruction at Buxton are unparalleled. Not only does our faculty truly believe in art as the foundation of modern education, but also we are located in the cultural heart of the northeast – with the very top artists in the world as our neighbours, mentors and teachers. Our students follow suit: blowing us away with their talents and capabilities every year. It is a pleasure, a challenge and an unmatched opportunity to explore the arts at Buxton.

Classes usually consist of no more than five students, each working at his or her own pace. Students are also invited to use the studios for outside of their assigned class time, including after school and on weekends. Visits to art museums and galleries, off-campus assignments, workshops with visiting artists, slide shows, figure drawing and other evening and weekend events are all part of a student’s introduction to making art. Student work is displayed twice each year—during the Fall and Spring Arts Weekends.

Ceramics

For students who want to learn both the basics of throwing on the potter’s wheel and / or how to hand-build clay works. Classes include slide shows, reading assignments and trips to local galleries and museums to broaden understanding of the past and present states of ceramics as art.

Advanced Ceramics

For students who are comfortable centering and throwing four to five pounds of clay and spending 2+ hours outside of class in the studio each week. Classes include slide shows, reading assignments and trips to local galleries and museums to broaden understanding of the past and present states of ceramics as art.

Sculptural Ceramics

Students learn to hand-build ceramics with coils and slabs of clay through weekly assignments and group projects. Classes include slide shows, reading assignments and trips to local galleries and museums to broaden understanding of the past and present states of ceramics as art.

Photography

Buxton offers three main types of photography instruction: black and white, digital and 19th century historical processes. Black and white film photography introduces the fundamentals of film, paper, processes and chemicals necessary to create and print an image and includes a camera and other supplies for each student. Digital photography is taught in a digital lab with the latest editions of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. During winter term, students explore a variety of 19th century processes to make their own negatives and photographic paper, in addition to recreating experiments and exploring scientific underpinnings of photography

Printmaking

Printmaking at Buxton is of the intaglio variety, meaning students incise an image or design into a surface, roll the surface with ink and then place paper on the surface to transfer the image.

Studio Art

Through exploration in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, fabrics, found objects, and mixed media, students can begin to articulate their artistic visions. Projects are defined through individual discussion. Students are encouraged and introduced to use a broad range of materials. What inspires the student determines which methods of working, materials, and ideas are explored. Throughout, students begin to relate their daily experience to the process of making art.
Students can take structured art classes that offer formal skill sets in drawing, painting and printmaking with an emphasis on balancing direct, observational skills with expressive, independent work. There also is the opportunity to take ‘open studio’ classes where students can work independently on any idea with almost any medium; instruction is available and responsive to individual projects.

Video Production

Spring term we will be looking at satire and mockumentary as a means of telling stories through
video. As a class, we will create videos that aim to honestly capture our lives here at Buxton, and
when appropriate, poke fun at the more absurd parts of it. People of all editing levels are
encouraged to join; no previous video production is necessary

Offered as either a single- or double-semester course, video production offers students the chance to work hands on with HD, DSLR and DV cameras and Final Cut Pro X software to tell stories via narrative, documentary and experimental filmmaking. Each student maintains a storyboard and video journal and must complete weekly assignments in short documentary and narrative video experiments.

 

Fine Arts

For students who are not enrolled in art classes, we encourage them to explore the studios. Students may come in for single free periods during their academic day, outside of their assigned class time, or after school and on weekends. Much of the art created at Buxton is made during time outside of formal class periods. For an expanded description of the art possibilities at Buxton, please see Arts in the course section.

Testimonials

  • "Buxton has given me the freedom to be the person I want to be, make the art I want to make, and learn the things I want to learn. At Buxton we learn not only in the classroom, but in the community. We learn how to be good to each other and how to support each other. Buxton has so much to offer students, both inside the classroom and outside of it."
    Sadie
    Sadie Great Barrington, MA
  • “At Buxton you get to focus on what you want to be learning; whether it is social skills or in-depth studying- you learn to take responsibility of your education.”
    Francis Magai
    Francis Magai Troy, NY
  • “Living your education means to not only learn things, but to use what you learn in your everyday life.”
    Naima Nigh
    Naima Nigh Mexico
  • “To me, living your education means to be independent, to take charge, to not be afraid of asking for help, to learn from your peers, to love to learn, to take what you have learned from a loving environment and take it into the world.”
    Kat Hallowell
    Kat Hallowell New Hampshire
  • “Your education is more than just your time in class, it’s your life as a whole. Learning is not limited to a teacher teaching you something in a classroom.”
    Cynder Johnson
    Cynder Johnson Missouri
  • “To me, at Buxton, it’s not boundaries that you make, but the ones you break through.”
    Roy Malone
    Roy Malone New York, NY
  • “At Buxton, I can choose what I want to do with my education. I can design my own path and invest my time studying topics that I’m really interested in.”
    Nora Mittleman
    Nora Mittleman New York, NY
  • “At Buxton you can experience your intellectual development in a community that accepts your perspective of the world.”
    Ben Nigh
    Ben Nigh Mexico
  • “I felt instantly at home when I stepped on the campus. At Buxton, we are in school 24/7. We learn things in the classroom, but we really learn valuable things outside of the classroom. We learn how to work with others and respect each other’s spaces. Our education surrounds us and we learn new things everyday.”
    Emily Woodside
    Emily Woodside Albany, NY
  • “I chose Buxton over public school because I think I function better in a smaller environment. You’re able to get to know students and faculty on a deeper level, which is rare.”
    Charlie Starenko
    Charlie Starenko Williamstown, MA
  • “Students should be happy when they are learning. They should not feel like studying is a burden to them. You learn things from your living space and environment - you are learning every second you are living.”
    Jiayi Cao
    Jiayi Cao China
  • “Buxton has shown me that it is possible to forge close bonds with teachers as well as students. It also gives you the ability to try new things in an environment where there is no judgment.”
    Kristhal Ayala
    Kristhal Ayala Puerto Rico
  • “I chose Buxton for a small community-based education with focus on the individual as part of the world at large, along with the learning settings.”
    Katie McAvoy
    Katie McAvoy Boston, MA
  • “I love the atmosphere and how tightly knit the community is. At Buxton you take what you learn in the classroom and use it in everyday life - you learn from the world around you and see how you can make it better.”
    Cheyanne Williams
    Cheyanne Williams Boston, MA
  • “At Buxton you bring your education into everything you do, and learn important, relevant things that you can utilize all the time.”
    Rebecca van der Meulen
    Rebecca van der Meulen New Lebanon, NY
  • "In the last year, Buxton has become my home. It has provided me with a place where self-exploration is encouraged in and out of the classroom. I have made unbreakable bonds with faculty and my peers."

    Aurora
    Aurora Albany, NY
  • "To me living your education means enjoying it to the fullest. Do the things that make you uncomfortable, like activities, clubs, or sports you wouldn't normally participate in. Like the saying goes, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

    Adrian
    Adrian Boston, MA
  • "Buxton has given me room to fully realize what inspires me and the resources to create it. The next big grade is no longer a constant worry. I have more space to be and do what I want."

    Lola
    Lola Williamstown, MA
  • "Buxton has given me the freedom to be the person I want to be, make the art I want to make, and learn the things I want to learn. At Buxton we learn not only in the classroom, but in the community. We learn how to be good to each other and how to support each other. Buxton has so much to offer students, both inside the classroom and outside of it."

    Sadie
    Sadie Great Barrington, MA
  • “A sense that everybody matters, that you are in a community where everyone can make a difference and reach their full potential, where you are interdependent and you work together, and most importantly where you understand that you can do whatever you want to do and whatever it is that you do, you have got to make a difference. I think that, more than anything, defines my experience at Buxton.”
    Peter Shumlin
    Peter Shumlin Governor of Vermont, Buxton Alumni

Live your education at Buxton

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