Fine Arts

Experience the Arts at Stevenson

As a young person interested in the arts, you probably understand that it may be impossible to truly capture the quality of a fine arts program in words. This is especially true here at Stevenson where the arts are at the core of what makes Stevenson a unique place to grow and learn. Stevenson offers a rigorous academic environment where you will be surrounded by other students who also share your passion for the arts.

Symposium of the Arts

In May of 2011, Stevenson celebrated the arts through its annual Symposium event. This video captures the energy and commitment of our faculty and students to the arts. Press play arrow above to view a 14-minute video of Symposium 2011
or follow this link for a larger screen version in a separate window.

Arts News

  • Visual Arts Teacher Ed Eyth Featured in Newsweek Magazine

    Ed Eyth, who teaches in our visual arts department, was featured in a Newsweek Magazine article this week. The story focuses on Ed's never-before seen concept drawings for the movie "Back to the Future II" as part of the film's 25th anniversary.
    Newsweek article

  • Stevenson Student On Stage at the Monterey Jazz Festival

    Last weekend, Stevenson student David Maluki had the distinct honor of performing at the 57th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival. David was selected among hundreds who auditioned last spring to participate in the Monterey County Vocal Jazz Honor Choir. Throughout the spring and summer, David rehearsed with top singers from other Monterey County schools to prepare for their summer tour, and for the Monterey Jazz Festival. Congratulations to David for his dedication to this challenging musical endeavor, and for being an outstanding representative of Stevenson School! Follow the link to view more photos of the performance by Cole Thompson.

  • New 3D Printer Used to Complete Chess Set

    Anyone who's seen or used the chess set in Douglas Hall on the Pebble Beach Campus knows that two of the chess pieces (the black knight and black king) have been missing for some time. Follow the link to learn how the Visual Arts Department used their recently acquired Digital Media 3D printer to generate nearly exact replicas of the missing chess pieces.


Department Chair

Stephan Pratt is the chair of the Fine Arts Department.

Fast Facts - Fine Arts

  • Of the 22 AP Studio Art exams taken, 95% received a passing grade, and all six students who took an AP Music Theory exam earned a passing grade (2015)
  • A performing arts center, dance studio, ceramics studio, and an art gallery, where student works are showcased throughout the year.
  • Three theatrical performances each year, along with several additional dance and music shows. Watch videos of the recent production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
  • A full orchestra, choir, jazz ensembles, and band. Watch videos of the Chamber Singers, and the student music concert, Keckstock
  • Students are encouraged and supported in sharing their talents with the entire student body. Watch students perform a Coldplay tune live at the weekly assembly.
  • Stevenson’s radio station, KSPB-FM, is the largest student-run radio station west of the Mississippi
  • Nine dedicated faculty members

Course Offerings - Open Level

Art 1: Drawing & 2D

This beginning art class exposes students to the fundamentals of art. Students discover the elements of art and principles of design as well as explore the foundations of art history. Exploration in figure drawing, observational rendering, one and two point perspective and color theory are starting points for the student's creativity. Through class critiques, students evaluate their own work and analyze the work of others.

Ceramics 1

Due to space limitations in our ceramics studio we may not be able to accommodate all students interested in this course. If that that is the case priority will be given to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.

For students with a limited art background, this course introduces the techniques behind ceramics and sculpture, including use of a potter's wheel, glazing, and firing. The concepts of the additive and subtractive processes when working in clay are also emphasized. Through class critiques, students evaluate their work and analyze the work of others.

Digital Art 1

Students will embrace the computer as their primary art medium in this course, an introduction to graphic design skills using the basic components of the Adobe® Creative Suite® software program. Projects are designed to promote experiential learning by teacher demonstrations, student collaboration, and self-guided tutorials. In developing a comfort level with the digital camera, scanner, and color printer, students will manipulate digital photographs, create digital paintings and posters, and take steps in 2-D animation and film.

Darkroom Photography 1

Students will supply their own 35mm SLR film camera, usually priced below $200. A limited number of school cameras are available too. Students learn elementary skills such as loading and operating the camera and developing black and white film. From assignments throughout the year, the course emphasizes hands-on darkroom work; students gain confidence in changing film to reels, developing film, and printing the negatives. Each student creates a binder-style portfolio with photos and write-ups that describe his or her process in completing it.

Digital Photography 1

This is a first year course that requires the students to supply their own digital SLR camera, usually priced at $500 and up. The program offers students an opportunity to work with Adobe Lightroom for editing files, create an e-portfolio on Flickr for sharing their images, and learn basic fundamentals of composition. They will study and become familiar with camera controls, shooting techniques and digital editing workflow.

Concert Band

Concert Band is the core wind and percussion ensemble at Stevenson. The class enables students to study an instrument through band literature of various styles and levels of difficulty. Students in Concert Band also play in pep band and symphonic orchestra. This ensemble is open to most instruments and all levels of instrumental proficiency, and there are several performances throughout the year.


This course, offering a wide variety of choral and musical experiences, stresses proper breathing, support, tone production, and posture while singing in four-or-more-part harmony.

String Orchestra

String Orchestra is the core string ensemble and challenges students with a wide array of repertoire and genres. String students also play in the symphonic orchestra and perform in two major concerts throughout the year. This ensemble is open to all levels of string proficiency.

Guitar 1

This course is for students who wish to acquire a basic knowledge of the guitar, including tuning the instrument, knowledge of chords, finger strumming, bar chords, scales and exercises, and performance of modern, folk, and rock music.

Songwriting & Music Production

This course is designed to give students a chance to explore songwriting and music production in a structured and conscious way. The ability to sing, play guitar and/or piano are not required but will greatly aid the songwriting process. Using the computer as a "virtual recording studio," students will combine software based sound production with recorded audio from their compositions. Over the course of the year, students will complete at least three songs, in a variety of genres, and perform them at a showcase in the spring term as well as record their compositions. Skills in working with software will be developed along with songwriting techniques. Students will be introduced to basic digital audio theory and mic placement techniques, as well as develop skills in hard-disk recording and editing with Logic, Garage Band and other multi-track audio software. Students will collaborate as song writers and sound engineers in the process of composing music.

Drama 1

Drama 1 is a yearlong class designed to introduce students to acting, directing, and technical aspects of theater. The class will focus on the exploration of critical theory, history, and performance in theater. In addition, emphasis will be placed on voice and body movement, the principles of blocking, and improvisation. This course is designed for students with little or no theatre experience and operates in the hopes of promoting the appreciation and enjoyment for all aspects of drama.

Dance 1

This class is tailored to students with little to no formal training in classically-based danced genres. Students study ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance. The course introduces dance terminology and dance history. Dancers develop a movement vocabulary in relationship to music and emotion. Structured choreography is presented while students are exposed to the composition process. The fundamentals of body awareness, placement, strength, and flexibility are also covered. Participation is mandatory in a spring term dance performance. Split-soled pink ballet shoes, nude contemporary caps, and tan split-soled jazz shoes are required for class. Students are responsible for their tights and dance undergarments for performance. Shoes, tights, and undergarments may be purchased in class through a local dance store (approximate cost $125).

Radio 1 -- does not fulfill the Fine Arts requirement

The Radio 1 student learns the basic operations of Stevenson’s on-campus radio station, KSPB 91.9FM. These include the history of the station and the technical equipment necessary to produce both a pre-corded, and a live, radio broadcast. Students are also introduced to KSPB’s current shows to give them idea of what it takes to create successful radio programming. This course exposes the beginning radio student to the exciting world of broadcast radio and helps to begin to develop skills necessary for effective broadcasting and public speaking.

This course does not fulfill our Fine Arts requirement.

Public Speaking -- does not fulfill the Fine Arts requirement

This single-trimester course is required for all 9th graders and new 10th graders. It is designed to teach students the basic principles of public speaking. Through exercises, games, and formal presentations, students will learn the techniques and qualities of an effective speaker in a variety of arenas. Upon the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Effectively present a speech in front of a group with the purpose to inform, persuade, and entertain.
2. Properly organize ideas for a speech in a written outline that includes an introduction (to catch attention and pre-view topic), a body (minimum of three main ideas with supporting material), and a conclusion (to summarize and re-emphasize)
3. Demonstrate effective nonverbal language skill that enhance the oral presentation, such as hand guestures, body language, and facial expressions.
4. Demonstrate effective and appropriate vocal skills including poise, vocal variety and inflection, rate of speech, volume, and articulation
5. Understand his/her responsibilities as an audience member.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of the listening process and to identify strategies for improving listening skills.
7. Demonstrate an understanding of the way in which speaking and communication skills effect our everyday lives.

Voice or Instrumental Music Lessons -- do not fulfill the Fine Arts requirement

Regularly scheduled private lessons are arranged by the director of music. These are taken on a pass-fail basis for half credit, and do not fulfill our Fine Arts requirement.

Course Offerings - Upper Level

Digital Art 2 and 3

This 2-day-a-week course is for independently motivated students who possess intermediate to advanced proficiency in digital art making. A premium is placed on independent study projects and student collaboration. Through practical exercises and instructor-led demonstrations, students develop skills on large, state-of-the-art iMac computers as well as their own PC and Apple laptops, equipped with the latest Adobe® Creative Suite® software programs. Drawing tablets with stylus pens are provided. Projects include, but are not limited to: photo manipulation, digital painting, typography, basic 2D and 3D animation, and movie applications -- all with an eye to current industry trends and standards.

Darkroom Photography 2

This is a second year program that features assignments designed to develop a sophisticated eye for seeing photographic imagery. Students begin the year printing in the 5"x7" format until the midway point when they begin enlarging to 8"x10". At this level, more sophisticated darkroom techniques are possible in order to take more control over the finished image. As in the beginning course, they are required to assemble a finished portfolio of images and commentary.

Darkroom Photography 3

This is typically a third year program for students with well developed darkroom skills. They are allowed a great deal of freedom to express themselves photographically. The course also offers the student four scheduled days per week in the darkroom. Portfolios are assembled by matting finished prints and collecting them in a professional manner that they present at the conclusion of each trimester for evaluation.

Digital Photography 2

This course offers students an opportunity to work with the Adobe Creative Suite including Lightroom and Photoshop for the purpose of manipulating their images. With 4 class meetings per week, a considerable amount of time is spent viewing and discussing image quality and editing techniques. Each student is required to establish a Flickr site to serve as their e-portfolio for sharing and evaluation. Local field trips add a valuable inspiration to student photographers. Printing and finishing images on a selective basis also is an option for this group of advanced photography students.

Making Movies

In this yearlong course, students will explore the fundamental components of short documentary and narrative films -- from concept development to post-production -- and they will develop a basic competence in creating their own. Students will learn strategies for creating compelling stories, and they will screen films to study the techniques and styles of noted filmmakers. Students will work collaboratively to practice and develop proficiency in script writing; storyboarding; set, sound and lighting design; cinematography; directing; camera work; and editing. Students will produce their own short film and documentary.

Prerequisites: demonstrated experience or proficiency in some element of filmmaking is required, and entry to the class is contingent on an interview with the instructor. There is a lab fee of $100. Ownership of a DSLR camera is not mandatory but welcome.

Making Movies 2 and 3 (new in 2017-2018)

Making Movies 2 continues the process of developing the foundational tools needed to create and complete a short documentary or narrative film initiated in the Making Movies 1 curriculum. The goal of the Making Movies 2 curriculum is to challenge students to create movies worthy of submission to student film competitions, and which may be used for admission to college level programs. In order to be approved for this class, students must demonstrate: (1) familiarity with and proficiency in all elements of movie production, including camera operation, editing software, and writing; and (2) an ability to work both independently and as a member of a crew. Summer work before this class is required; a completed short film (1-5 minutes in length suggested) is due at the beginning of the school year. An interview with the teaching faculty during course registration in the prior spring is required for entry into this class; showing portfolio work is encouraged. Other requirements: minimum 1 external hard drive; functioning laptop that will take Adobe Premiere and After Effects; DSLR camera not required, but most welcome. This course has a $100 studio fee.

Jazz Band

Students in concert band may also participate in this advanced instrumental ensemble. Different styles of music are rehearsed, and improvisational techniques are explored. When appropriate, the group also forms smaller jazz-rock bands and jazz combos.

Chamber Singers

An ensemble of no more than 35 vocalists, this group performs a variety of vocal pieces, a cappella.

Vocal Jazz Choir

Through this course students have an opportunity to gain experience and develop a feel for vocal jazz.

String Chamber Ensemble

Students in String Orchestra may also participate in the chamber ensemble, which provides an opportunity for performing in small groups such as string quartets and trios. Chamber playing demands enhanced awareness and communication among performers, and showcases more challenging repertoire.

Dance 2

This class further explores the dance genres studied in Dance 1. Students study ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip-hop. The foundations of choreography and improvisation are introduced. This course covers dance history, injury prevention, anatomy, and nutrition. Students will gain body awareness, develop enhanced musicality, utilize appropriate dance terminology, and understand movement qualities. Participation is mandatory in a spring trimester dance performance. Class placement is by audition only (in person or video submittal). Dance attire and shoes for the listed genres are also required.

Dance 3

This class is designed for students with classically-based technique experience who have a working knowledge of urban dance genres. Students are expected to be fluent in classical dance terminology and have a diverse range of movement vocabulary. This course studies dance technique and musicality at a mastery level. Students will expand existing movement vocabularies in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip-hop. In addition, a cultural dance unit is included. Primary course components include improvisation and student choreography. Participation and student choreography contribution is mandatory in a spring trimester dance performance. Class placement is by audition only (in person or video submittal). Dance attire and shoes for the listed genres are also required.

Drama 2

This course continues the focus of the Drama 1 class, prepares the students for more advanced work and performance.

Drama 3

For the committed actor, Drama 3 offers a wide choice of arenas for student performance, including both classical and contemporary styles. Students will be encouraged to prepare and audition for the numerous performance opportunities. All students will present two short (1-2 minute) monologues suitable for college or conservatory auditions.

Radio 2 -- does not fulfill the Fine Arts requirement

In this class, students host one radio show on KSPB-FM per week and also work in areas such as public service, news, music, sports, and education programming. Advanced Radio students must be capable broadcast engineers with considerable knowledge of broadcast equipment and radio law.

This course does not fulfill our Fine Arts requirement.

Radio 3: Management -- does not fulfill the Fine Arts requirement

This class is designed to show students what it takes to operate a radio station. In addition to hosting a weekly radio show, students in Advanced Radio: Management serve as staff members for KSPB-FM. The students' twice weekly staff meetings assist the station manager with all aspects of running an FCC-Licensed station on the school's campus.

This course does not fulfill our Fine Arts requirement.

Art 2: Drawing & 2D

This hands-on studio class is for students interested in developing advanced proficiency in drawing and painting. A premium is placed on observational work, including traditional easel painting and drawing of classic motifs, such as the still life, portraiture, and landscape. Modernist styles are also introduced, including cubism, abstraction, and mixed media. Students are exposed to “plein-air” field painting, as we take advantage of our beautiful local environs. Art history, when pertinent to projects, is liberally included in the curriculum. This class also helps prepare students for AP Studio Art.

Art 2: Architecture

Through exploration and application of architectural design and techniques, students are exposed to architecture as a potential college-level pursuit and career possibility. Linear perspective drawing is practiced throughout the year, and students design and build models with accompanying plans. Basic elements of the history of architecture are introduced. Local field trips highlight impressive homes in our immediate area, and guest architects make presentations to the class. Site plans, floor plans, elevation drawings and creative designs are all part of the curriculum and are created by hand, as well as by the most recent digital software.

Ceramics 2

In this advanced class, students expand upon skills they learned in Ceramics 1. Because advanced students work alongside beginners, the course encourages interactive teaching; it also helps students become technically skilled in the use of the potter's wheel and in advanced hand-building techniques. Classes make use of high-fired electric kiln glazes and alternative firing methods.

Course Offerings - AP Level

AP Art: Drawing & 2D Design

A select group of students, chosen by the faculty for excellence in studio art motivation and potential, prepare a rigorous portfolio of work in preparation for submission to the College Board for College Credit. Working independently with close supervision, students have access to the art studio during weekends and after school for independent studio work. Students create 24 total works to meet the rigorous, national portfolio requirements. You can learn more from the College Board's pages about AP Studio Art: Drawing and AP Studio Art: 2-D Design.

AP Art: Photography

This course is designed to guide highly motivated and independent advanced photography students toward developing a portfolio of work which, when completed and reproduced in digital form, will be submitted to the College Board for evaluation and potentially for college credit. Students must learn to work independently beyond the classroom schedule, to have refined criteria for evaluating their work, and to aspire to the level of photographic expertise and sophistication of students enrolled in the first year of an art college curriculum. The course provides a format for serious photography students who wish to explore their potential for self-expression and technical development in the visual arts through the exploration of black & white film photography and digital photography.

Students in this year-long course will alternate between working on pieces relating to their chosen “concentration” or theme, Section II of the AP Portfolio, (this work is largely self-assigned and prompted by teacher and peer evaluation and suggestions), and work assigned in class as “breadth” for the Section III of the portfolio. Breadth assignments are designed to elicit a wide variety of techniques and subject matter in contrast with the concentration segment of the portfolio, which explores a single theme in depth.

While the class is largely an “applied working studio environment,” work on projects is interspersed with field trips to local galleries, museums, online tutorials and reading/viewing textbooks for inspiration and class discussions.

At the conclusion of the year students must have twelve works in Section II (concentration) and sixteen in Section III (breadth) in addition to a selection of five original works (the “quality” section), which comprise the final portfolio. Each student will write a summary statement describing the nature of the chosen theme in the concentration segment of the portfolio that is submitted with uploaded digital images on a student web page provided by the College Board, for final evaluation by the AP readers.

You can learn more from the College Board's page about AP Studio Art: 2-D Design.

AP Music Theory

Offered to students in grades eleven and twelve who demonstrate basic music theory knowledge on an entrance exam and an upper intermediate level of skill in instrumental or vocal music, this course is designed to encompass a wide range of musical study with emphasis on the fundamentals of theory, music handwriting skills, form analysis, ear training, rhythmic and melodic dictation, and basic melodic and harmonic composition. You can learn more from the College Board’s page about AP Music Theory.

AP Art History (does not fulfill the Fine Arts Requirement)

This rigorous, full-year survey course seeks to develop an understanding and knowledge of diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting and other media. In this course, students examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from the past and the present from a variety of cultures. While visual analysis is a fundamental tool of the art historian, art history emphasizes understanding how and why works of art function in context, considering such issues as patronage, gender, and the functions and effects of works of art. Many colleges and universities offer advanced placement and/or credit to students who perform successfully on the AP Art History Exam. Through extensive readings, examination and discussion of visual sources, independent research and frequent (at least weekly) assessments, which aim to hone students’ ability to synthesize sophisticated visual and verbal material, this course prepares students for the national AP exam administered each May. Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the corresponding AP Examination in Art History. You can learn more from the College Board’s page about AP Art History.