The Arts

Creativity is considered the skill of the future. And while creativity permeates all areas of study at Tilton School, it's the arts where creative passions are ignited.

We believe that there is a creative side within each of us, which is why Tilton School is a place where creative interests are explored and new ones are discovered. Artistic opportunities are available both as classes within the academic schedule and as extracurricular activities. For students with deeper interests and a more developed skill set, pre-professional experiences are available.


Regardless of skill level, students who explore the arts at Tilton do so in a supportive and nurturing environment—whether in the theater, dance studio, music practice rooms, ceramics studio, fine arts studio or the digital arts lab. We strive to ignite a passion for the arts in each of our students by providing these opportunities to gain unique experiences in the visual and performing arts. 

Sarah '19

This past summer, when I was choosing courses, I had the option to take a third AP or ceramics. I knew that in order to keep enjoying pushing myself as an athlete and student, I needed to continue having time in the studio. I am incredibly grateful to have chosen that time as it has become an essential part of my busy day, as a time to unwind while doing something I love.

Students have the flexibility to take part in a theater production as a member of the cast or technical crew, or might consider joining one of the school's instrumental or vocal ensembles. Studio artists can participate in ceramics, drawing, painting or portfolio work. If you are passionate about photography you can take classes to explore digital imagining, or maybe you’d like to try your hand at filmmaking. Graphic artists can refine their skills or learn new ones in our state-of-the-art lab.

Pre-professional experiences are integrated in the production of student publications (The Tiltonian digital newspaper, yearbook or literary magazine) and are available as an afternoon activity for one season or as a year-long commitment for those looking for greater immersion.

Twice each year the Art Department hosts on-campus art shows, including the annual ArtsFest spring festival, and there are numerous avenues for students to display their vocal talents

Art Offerings


Express yourself in 3D.

The ceramics studio, located on the entry level of the Arts Center, is home to eight wheels and two kilns. There are also large tables throughout for clay preparation and detail work.  

It is here where students first learn to explore clay media, wheel throwing and hand construction techniques. Inspired by their teacher - a master potter - students often choose to explore both Foundations of Ceramics and Advanced Ceramics, and it is not uncommon to find a student putting in some extra time to perfect a piece during a free period.  

The final products are displayed annually at Tilton’s two art shows in January and May. Campus display cases throughout campus also include many student and alumni pieces.

Students in ceramics class have the opportunity to take part in a Raku firing experience, something most students have never even heard of before. Check out the process below!

Course Highlight: Advanced Explorations in Ceramics

For students with a background in basic Ceramics, this course provides opportunities for explorations in working with clay media and techniques, including ceramic sculpture, tile making, stoneware, Raku, and collaborative forms. 


Unleash your creativity.

Whether you are a seasoned musician looking to perform in front of the community or have never picked up an instrument we are ready for you.

Students have the opportunity to experience different types of music through their arts experience. They learn basic rhythms through competitions and world drumming, music notation and tablature while "shredding the uke (ukulele)," and can practice singing in an ensemble through learning the Tilton School Alma Mater.

Music is known to help students develop emotionally, to teach discipline, and to help develop language and reasoning skills, to name a few.

Male student playing drums

New Media

Interested in Graphic Design, Digital Photography, Filmmaking, or Game Design?

Tilton’s graphics arts lab, located on the second floor of the Art Center, is one of the most impressive spaces on campus. The fully-equipped lab includes 12 iMac computers with both Adobe Photoshop and inDesign. 

Tilton’s art curriculum has evolved in recent years to keep pace with an ever-changing field, and photography classes are no exception. Classes now focus primarily on digital photography where students can learn the functions of a digital camera and technical sensitivities needed for effective artistic expression while partaking in regular photo-shooting assignments.

Filmmaking by its very nature is project based, making this area of the arts one of the most collaborative at Tilton. Students are able to demonstrate their skills by creating projects in sound design, set design, lighting scenes, acting and direction, writing scripts, pitching stories, creating budgets, and editing footage. The group experience is an important aspect of filmmaking. It takes all kinds to create a video, film, movie, commercial, or show. Filmmakers work together to tell the idea or story of a script.

Students in film class filming outside with a video camera

Course Highlight: Modern Storytelling

Modern Storytelling is a semester long course that analyzes the art of storytelling by looking at Genre, Archetypes, Crossroads, Spectacle and Situation. Students will look at and compare ancient stories with modern film and discover the elements that are constant. Archetypes/signs/symbols will play a large role in the understanding of the universal language of Storytelling.

Studio Arts

Refine your pen and ink skills or try your hand at painting.

Offerings in the Studio Arts include Exploring Abstract Art, Three-Dimensional Art and Drawing & Painting Fundamentals - just to name a few! Students also have the opportunity to further immerse themselves in the Studio Arts by selecting it as an afternoon activity during the fall season. Projects are completed on an independent or group basis.  

Studio Arts classes are appropriately held in the brightest and most creative space on campus. Our Arts Building, located near the Library, uses its unique architecture to join together old and new. Graphic Arts and Ceramics courses are also offered in the same building.

Student drawing with pen and paper

Course Highlight: Advanced Studio Practices

Students will be pushed outside of their comfort zones allowing for artistic risks. They will be constantly challenged creatively, need to think critically and will develop the skills to communicate about their own art and other’s work. They will learn how to display art work and how to critique and be critiqued. At the end of the course, each student will know how to create and maintain a working portfolio of work. 


Want to transform into a good-natured elephant? A vulgar teenager from 1942?

Students have the ability to transform themselves into characters with traits they may not have explored before in themselves. This opportunity allows students to explore new emotions, skills, and personas. They have the flexibility to take part in a theater production as a member of the cast or technical crew.

Each year Tilton puts on a mainstage musical as well as two other productions. Audition for your chance to sing or perform onstage, be a member of the band, or take part backstage as part of the technical crew.

Theater students on stage performing Clue

Course Highlight: Musical Theater

Students will explore American Musical Theatre and study the work of the actor/singer/ dancer and develop their performance skills. Students will have multiple opportunities to rehearse, perform, and direct/stage various scenes and musical numbers from Broadway shows past and present. Students will prepare and present as soloists as well as members of small groups and larger ensembles. Student work culminates in an end-of-semester performance.

Interested in exploring creativity?

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