Arts

Visual Arts

Lower School

Through art classes, students learn the elements and principles of visual art, gaining a deeper understanding of the form and of different artists and styles. Our youngest learners develop coordination, fine-motor skills and visual sense. Older students continue to refine these skills, as they explore color, form, line, shape, space, symmetry, texture and value. As they grow, students work more independently, begin to discover their own artistic styles and more fully incorporate their understanding of form, media and technique.

Middle School

Studio Art
Studio art engages the natural curiosity, creativity and energy of our Middle School students, as it helps them develop an understanding of design principles and expand their knowledge of the visual arts. As students refine their own work, they increasingly evaluate and synthesize multiple approaches, rather than seeking a single solution. This mindset helps students develop into critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers. Students in grades five and six take one semester of studio art each year; students in grades seven and eight choose from among electives in the fine and performing arts each semester.
 
Woodworking
Moving from drawings to three-dimensional objects, woodworking draws on students' creativity, math skills and spatial understanding. The course begins with instruction in workshop safety, the elements of woodworking and an introduction to the history of the craft. From there, students begin to discover how a variety of materials can be used in different ways and the application of mathematics in successful woodworking. Students in grades five and six take one semester of woodworking each year; students in grades seven and eight choose from among electives in the fine and performing arts each semester.
 
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
A seventh-grade elective, CAD brings together work in design, mathematics and technology. Students learn to design objects and models with specific software programs. Using 3-D printers, surface devices, green-screens and other tools in the Makerspace, students create three-dimensional objects from their designs.
 
Sculpture & Ceramics
An elective in grades seven and eight, sculpture and ceramics introduces students to the unique challenges of creating and designing in three-dimensions. This hands-on class teaches different sculptural techniques, including carving, papier-mâché, wire and assemblage. Ceramics teaches various hand-building techniques, including coiling, slab building and modeling. In addition, students explore the history of these arts forms.

Upper School

The Upper School offers a range of introductory and advanced coursework in two- and three-dimensional media, including ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, portfolio development, sculpture, studio art, and woodworking. Coursework is studio-based to encourage and foster exploration and independent work. Through intensive instruction in traditional and contemporary notions of art, styles and techniques, students acquire a comprehensive understanding of both the elements that compose artworks and the ideas that make them meaningful.
 
Students have several opportunities throughout the year to show their work to the school and community in a gallery setting. Each year, the fine arts faculty in grades K–12 curates a winter and a spring art exhibition and hosts opening receptions for staff, faculty and friends to come together and celebrate the work of our art students. In addition, student work is submitted to several juried and non-juried art competitions and exhibitions throughout the year.

Art Exhibitions

Each year, the fine arts faculty in grades K – 12 curates a winter and a spring art exhibition and hosts opening receptions for staff, faculty and friends to come together and celebrate the work of our art students.

In addition, student work is submitted to several juried and non-juried art competitions and exhibitions throughout the year

Winter Art Exhibition

Visual Arts Chair

Sarah Isusi chairs the fine arts department at GSB. She is in her fourth year at Gill 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.

Meet the Team

List of 5 members.

  • Mrs. Sarah Isusi 

    Chair, Fine Arts Department
    908-234-1611, Ext. 232
    The University of the Arts - M.F.A.
    Maryland Inst College of Art - M.A.T.
    Maryland Inst College of Art - B.F.A.
  • Jaime Diken 

    Art
    908-234-1611, Ext. 300
    School of Visual Arts - M.A.T.
    Moravian College - Fine Arts
  • Amy Newman 

    Art, Grades 5-8; Fine Arts, Grades 9-12
    908-234-1611, Ext. 231
    Montclair State University - M.A.
    Rutgers University - B.F.A.
  • Robert Ort 

    Woodworking, Grades 5-8; Fine Arts, Upper School
    908-234-1611, Ext. 261
    Rochester Institute of Technology - A.A.S. Photographic Arts
  • Cornelius Arnett 

    Sculpture / Ceramics, Grades 7-8; Fine Arts, Upper School
    908-234-1611, Ext. 229
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.