Visual Arts

Our Visual Arts program offers experiences that inform and inspire a new language of communication with innovative approaches to problem solving, opportunities for in-depth exploration and collaboration, access to multimedia studios, and a solid foundation in the formal aspects of design.

View our course offerings


Certificate Program

Our certificate program in the visual arts guides students through a comprehensive, multi-year course of study that expands as well as refines each student’s artistic repertoire. Not only does each student develop a portfolio of work that can be used for college admissions and future interviews, but the certificate program also culminates with a gallery exhibition. The program also requires that students visit museums and galleries, interview a professional artist, and enter their work into competition. Students apply for the program at the end of their sophomore year.


Santa Catalina School girls painting in an art studio.
Girls working together at a computer
Santa Catalina School girls in the darkroom

The Visual Arts Department features studios designed for drawing, printmaking, painting, and ceramics. We also boast a full black and white darkroom for film photography and a digital media lab with state-of-the-art equipment and software.


Exhibits and Contests

Students share their work with their classmates and the greater art world through exhibitions and local and national competitions. We host three exhibits in our library gallery every year, organized by senior interns and featuring a variety of works by students at all levels. In addition, our students regularly win awards in the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, as well as local contests such as the Weston Portfolio black-and-white film photography competition, which includes submissions from college students.

Field Trips

Santa Catalina School girls reviewing art

The Monterey Peninsula has a rich history in the arts. In fact, before Santa Catalina was here, these grounds were home to a community of artists—including none other than Salvador Dali.

We take advantage of this artistic legacy by regularly visiting local art galleries. Trips to the Monterey Museum of Art, the Carmel Art Association, the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts and other museums and galleries not only expose students to the works of professional artists, but gives them a glimpse into curation and exhibition.

Students have also visited the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and stunning private collections.