Arts

In this building, we’re surrounded by art all day long—in classrooms, offices, and studios; in the hallways, even in the bathrooms. The lunchroom doubles during non-meal hours as practice space, and sometimes performance space, for actors as well as for the chorus, chorale, orchestra, and jazz band. Our visual and performing arts classes allow students to see and share their unique perspectives through music, theater, painting, sculpture, photography, and more.

You will take at least one course in the studio or performing arts every semester you are at Commonwealth: it’s a graduation requirement. Many students take more, curious to explore a couple of new or familiar mediums and techniques at the same time.

It’s both fun and challenging to involve yourself in wholly creative processes. It’s no surprise that Commonwealth artists regularly win awards in all categories of the yearly competitions sponsored by The Boston Globe’s regional and national Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Beyond our walls, the Boston area offers an extraordinary wealth of museums and galleries, theaters, concert halls, and other music venues. As a Commonwealth student, you’ll be perfectly placed to take full advantage of remarkable opportunities—on class trips, with friends, or by yourself. Regularly, our Impromptu Day sweeps the whole school off to a theatrical or musical performance; on Museum Day we fan out in small groups throughout the city and beyond to visit an eclectic array of exhibits. During Project Week and summer break, our artists find rewarding internships with local painters, photographers, and musicians in local museums, galleries, and studios, or teaching art in grade schools and community centers.

We enjoy sharing our art with each other and our community. Each spring, our visual artists choose favorite pieces to exhibit in the annual school art show, while performers present a series of concerts, recitals, and plays throughout the year.

The value of our arts classes as space to grow, connect, play, and even heal cannot be understated. But our arts teachers also imbue their lessons with diverse voices, ensuring students are both exposed to and celebrate creators from across the globe and throughout history.

Courses

Commonwealth turned me into a musical performer, and it wasn’t until I played here for the first time that I felt I had really given my whole self to this school. At the same time, I realized that the music does not have to be about me. I enjoy performing, but sometimes it’s just about sharing something beautiful, no matter who is playing."

Meet the Arts Faculty

Valerie Becker

Degrees: B.A., Boston University
M.A., Boston University

Caleb Colpitts

Degrees: B.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design

David Hodgkins

Degrees: B.M., University of Massachusetts Amherst
M.M., Temple University

Samantha Nieto Vargas

Degrees: B.F.A., Arizona State University
M.F.A., Lesley University, College of Art and Design

Susan Thompson

Degrees: B.A., Boston University
M.F.A., École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq
Ph.D., Tufts University

Kyla Toomey

Degrees: B.F.A., Alfred University
M.F.A., Ohio State University

Mark White

Degrees: B.M., New England Conservatory of Music
M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
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