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Visual Arts

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Visual Arts

The San Domenico Visual Arts program offers students a dynamic hands-on exploration of the arts. Through inquiry, risk taking, reflection, and mindfulness, students develop a genuine inner confidence that is expressed within their art making process. They explore a wide variety of media and techniques with both extensive two- and three-dimensional projects.

As a K-12 school, we value collaborative teacher partnership and purposeful program integration across school levels, and this is certainly true of our Visual Arts program. Our art teachers collaborate, plan, and integrate the visual arts, developing a comprehensive, aligned program for our students. Projects are integrated with history, ethics, philosophy, world religions, English, and science classes to deepen student awareness of various cultures and their art forms. 

Immersive Studio Space

In the middle of our beautiful campus—nestled among the trees and suspended over a seasonal creek—you will find our Dino R. Ghilotti Motta Visual Arts Center. Students spend a few minutes walking to the art studios, leaving their other classes behind as they immerse themselves in the natural beauty. Wildlife is frequently seen and gives an inspiring touch to the setting. The large spacious studios have high ceilings with skylights and one wall of glass panel doors, providing excellent natural light and an invigorating place to create art.

Visual Arts Studio
Visual Arts Exhibitions


It is our philosophy to provide art students with as many exhibition opportunities as possible, emulating the lifestyle of a professional artist. Student exhibitions have taken place at Revolution 9 Gallery in Fairfax, Marin Jewelers Guild in San Rafael, and the Earth Team in Berkeley. Every year, our students participate in the Marin County Artisans Art Show and consistently win merit and honorable mention awards. In addition to off-campus exhibitions, we also display our work in a rotating show in the Carol Franc Buck Hall of the Arts, as well as other locales around campus.


Upper School Art


Upper School Visual Arts

Art classes in the Upper School are taught as an academic discipline, which involves in-depth study, development of skills, personal integrity, and creativity. Our courses focus on the California state standards of excellence in teaching—including creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing, connections, relationships, and applications.

Students can take classes in a variety of media, such as ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, 2D design, printmaking, and photography. All of our classes are offered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. For the serious artist we offer Advanced Placement Studio Art 2D and 3D.

In addition to studio classes and art history classes, trips to Bay Area fine arts museums and local artists' studios augment the curriculum.

Upper School Curriculum Guide


Middle School Art


Middle School Visual Arts

San Domenico School is committed to fostering an understanding of the visual arts—discovering the depth, magic, and power of creative work. Framed by the four core values of our school—study, reflection, community, and service—our curriculum and instruction guide student development, as they study and develop their technical skills in sixth grade, examine local and cultural communities in seventh grade, and express their unique vision and voice in eighth grade. 

Students explore the world of visual arts in various ways while creating unique projects that revolve around different cultures and artists. Students will investigate these culturally and creative artists through mediums and techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and design. Visual Arts courses will also focus on the development of personal expression, intuitive process, and content in art. At the end of year, students present their works in the “Arts in Action” showcase, which focuses on visual and performing arts.

Middle School Curriculum Guide


Lower School Art


Lower School Visual Arts

Our goal in the Lower School art studio is to guide each child’s creative development and encourage individual growth throughout the year. We hope to instill independence, respect, and courage while they respond to challenges and prompts that foster critical thinking skills and unique idea formation.

The Visual Arts program frequently integrates with classroom curriculum, deepening students’ understanding of the interrelated nature of subjects, as well as the importance of our visual culture. Skills, such as observational drawing and ceramic hand-building techniques, spiral and sequence from Kindergarten all the way through to twelfth grade.

Each spring, Lower School parents enjoy “Arts in Action,” an evening of viewing selected art pieces completed by the students over the year’s course of study, combined with a performance of music, song, and dance that also demonstrates their cumulative skills development in those areas. These art shows are joyful and much-anticipated by students and parents alike.

Lower School Curriculum Guide


Meet the Team

Sally Houston

Sally Houston

Art Teacher, Co-Chair Art Department
Suzanne Kelly

Suzanne Kelly

Visual Art Teacher
Brendan Lenz

Brendan Lenz

Upper School Art Teacher
Susan Turner

Susan Turner

Lower School Art Teacher
Carina Ybarra

Carina Ybarra

Visual Art Teacher, Art Chair for Middle & Upper School