Our students are required to take six art credits for graduation in either visual or performing arts. Our advanced students are offered the opportunity to take an off-campus art course in the nearby studio of two professional artists. These professionals work closely with students to help them develop their skills and techniques.
For serious art students interested in attending art school, Arts Department Chair Erika Bonner will help them prepare their portfolio presentation. Each year, she takes these students to the National Portfolio Day in Philadelphia where they have the opportunity to meet with at least 30 art schools and colleges. We strongly believe in making the best fit between student and college, so we work hard to be sure that our students find just the right program to continue in the art field of their choice.
Meet the Visual Arts Department Staff
Our staff is one of the greatest assets to our program. The Visual Arts faculty are full-time professional artists who take time out from their work to teach classes at Solebury.
Erika Bonner, a professional ceramist, has been the head of the art department since 2006. She teaches Art History, Ceramics, Advanced Ceramics, Sculpture, Printmaking, Introduction to Painting and Drawing and an assortment of rotating classes.
Kirby Fredendall, a professional artist, has been at Solebury for 17 years. She teaches Life Drawing, 2D Design, Elements of Design and Principles of Design, Advanced Painting and Drawing, and Introduction to the Arts.
At Solebury School, students can take Introduction to Photography, where they focus on black and white photography, the mechanics of a manual exposure camera and developing film. In Intermediate Photography, an emphasis is placed on composition, aperture, shutter speed and technique. In Advanced Photography, students begin shooting digitally, building upon their skills and learning to edit digital images in PhotoShop, as well as critiquing and analyzing their work and the work of their peers.
Professional filmmaker Brian Pearson teaches Digital Filmmaking, Screenplay Writing and Video Editing. He brings more than 30 years of arts-related production experience to Solebury School. As the production manager for a boutique media agency, Brian helps script, shoot, edit and manage projects promoting regional artists. Brian also produces films pro bono for nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area.
January 2017 Visual Arts Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter
Learn about our Middle School's Intro to the Arts class. Plus: our AP artist of the month.
November / December 2017 Newsletter
View figurative and portrait work, learn about collages, and meet our AP artist of the month.
October 2016 Newsletter
Browse works by our Beginning Painting & Drawing students, and our Life Drawing class. Plus, our AP Artist of the month.
September 2016 Newsletter
Why you should get involved in the Arts program! Plus, our AP Artist of the month, book-making and more.
May/June 2016 Newsletter
Politics in AP Art and Printmaking class, and mixed media in Figure Drawing class.
April 2016 Newsletter
Solebury School's Arts Festival Week and an AP class update.
The Bucks County High School Art Exhibition. Plus, Haolun is our Art Student of the Month.
February 2016 Newsletter
Kate is our Art Student of the Month. Plus, more explorations of color and samples from our archives.
January 2016 Newsletter
Life portraits, how color impacts us, and ceramics. Leah is our Art Student of the Month.
November / December 2016 Newsletter
Charlotte is our Art Student of the Month, and highlights from our Life Drawing class.
Sept / Oct 2016 Newsletter
Why students should build a portfolio and how to get started.