The arts at GSB enrich the student experience and the life of the school.
The arts promote courageous exploration, self-awareness, and cultural literacy as students are encouraged to take creative risks, to discover their passions, and to present their work before an audience.
Finally, the arts remind each of us what it means to be human and of the transformative power of creativity.
Beginning in preschool, children explore musical concepts through movement, classroom instruments, and singing. There are several opportunities for Middle School students to perform for an audience, including fall and spring musical productions. The Upper School offers choral music coursework and performance opportunities for a range of abilities and interests; in addition, the award-winning GSB Players stage two productions each year, a play in the fall and a musical in the spring.
Drama and its appreciation are important parts of the enrichment program at Gill. Participation in drama encourages cooperation and teamwork and helps to develop confidence and poise. Theater is creative storytelling at its best, serving to inspire, uplift, challenge, and engage everyone – artists and audience alike.
Whether are serious about studying an instrument, learning about music, or you just want to explore, Gill’s music program will expand your knowledge and nurture your inner musician.
Every grade in our Lower School enjoys art as a yearlong course. Through studio practice, students learn about the language and history of art and gain an appreciation for creating and understanding visual art. In the Middle School, students in fifth and sixth grade take a semester each of Studio Art and Woodworking. In seventh and eighth grade, students can choose to explore sculpture and ceramics as well, furthering their experience in their chosen medium. A wide variety of two- and three-dimensional art courses are offered in the Upper School Fine Arts program, including Studio Art, Drawing, Painting, Honors Portfolio Development, AP 2-D Art and Design, Photography, Advanced Photography, Graphic Design, Digital Illustration, Woodworking, Advanced Woodworking, Sculpture, and Ceramics.
Painting and Drawing
Working primarily from life—in still-life, portrait, and landscape contexts—skills in using cohesive color schemes and painting techniques develop.
Student creativity is captured while learning several methods of hand-building pottery, as well as throwing on the potter’s wheel.
Capitalizing on mathematical and collaborative problem-solving skills, students learn to design and build projects.
As a documentary and media art, learning photography and visual editing becomes a skill to be used for a lifetime.
In our media-driven world, digital production skills become a powerful communication tool for students.
Our latest student art gallery features work from Fine Arts classes, including Woodworking, Photography, Graphic Design, Studio Art, Drawing, Honors Portfolio, and AP 2D Art and Design.
Gill St. Bernard's theater department hosted three thrilling performances of Clue: On Stage, as The GSB Players dazzled attendees in their 2022 fall production.
Visual Arts Chair
Sarah Isusi chairs the Fine Arts Department at GSB, and teaches Upper School Studio Art, Drawing and Painting, Portfolio Development and AP 2D Design. Isusi holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Painting and a Master’s of Art in Teaching from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Master’s of Fine Art in Painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Prior to coming to Gill, she taught International Baccalaureate Art and Design to Upper School students in Baltimore and later developed the Fine Arts program for a Charter School for Performing and Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She is an active member of the N.J. Art Education Association, as well as the Center for Contemporary Art in Bernardsville and the Print Center of N.J., where she shows her work annually.
Performing Arts Chair
Paul H. Canada, Chair of the Performing Arts Department, has been teaching theater and staging award-winning Upper School productions for three decades. He holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in costume and set design from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, as well as a Bachelor’s of Music Education in vocal music from Mississippi College. He has worked extensively as a director and designer in educational and community theatre, and as a designer in professional theater.
GSB celebrated the grand opening of the new Performing Arts & Community Center (PACC) in November 2018 with more than 400 guests in attendance. In addition to locations such as the Chapel, the Founders expansion, and the Parents' Association Student Art Gallery, the arts are vibrant and alive across our campus.