Arts

Art in its various forms has been a part of our school since its inception. Frederick Gunn wove music into the early fabric of FGS and organized plays for his students and town residents, which led to the establishment of Washington’s amateur theater group, the Dramalites. This commitment to making art part of the everyday experience for students, and finding ways to connect the school with the community through art, is renewed today with the opening of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. Located at the heart of our campus, this beautiful new building supports The Gunnery’s Vision for Arts and Community and the continued growth of the school’s visual arts, music, drama and dance programs. In addition to providing a place for students to develop and showcase their artistic abilities, the center will allow for the expansion of partnerships between the school, local arts organizations and the community.

At The Frederick Gunn School, we ask students to learn to take public risks, to be makers not consumers, to be citizens who imagine a beautiful future without cynicism, to face failure with hope.

Vision for Arts and Community at FGS

Our Vision for Arts and Community at The Frederick Gunn School outlines four elements – Creation, Risk, Connection and Wonder – that are essential to each student’s experience in the arts.

At FGS, we invite our students to be creators and makers. Whether in the visual or performing arts, students are asked to leave their mark on the world, to challenge someone to see the world in a new way, to express their perfectly unique point of view.

The arts also break down barriers for those who are nervous about trying new things, as well as those who want to actively engage in the arts for the rest of their lives. “I know of so many students for whom the arts had a real transformative impact during their time here and who are grateful for all the great work that goes into allowing students to have that experience,” Head of School Peter Becker said.

All students are required to take the equivalent of one credit in art. This can be accomplished through three single-term courses or one full-year course in our music or visual arts programs. While the requirement is one credit, our students are encouraged, and often do take more than the required classes. The goal is for every student to recognize and appreciate the valuable role that art plays in our lives. “It is unique in its ability to draw forth parts of who we are as humans that other pursuits cannot. Art enables us to see, to hear, to listen, to feel, and ultimately to think in ways we would not without it,” Becker said.

Arts News

“Hermosa,” by Anna Gleason ’23

On Sunday, ASAP! will host its 11th annual Celebration of Young Photographers in Washington Depot with an exhibit that includes six original photographs by five students from The Frederick Gunn School. Oliver Chen ’22, Winifred Ezenwata ’22, ​​Anna Gleason ’23, Clari Leonard ’22 and Sarah Zhang ’24 were among the finalists selected this year by a panel of professional photographers through a blind judging process.
 

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Frederick Gunn School Theatre Program is excited to present the Connecticut Premiere of “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” adapted by Dwayne Hartford based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, and directed by Kent Burnham, Director of Theatre Arts. Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on November 11-12 in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. The play will also be available on Saturday at 7 p.m. via livestream for those unable to attend in person.
 

Cleve Gray Exhibit

When parents visit campus on Parents Weekend, they will have an opportunity to view three paintings by American Abstract Expressionist painter Cleve Gray in the Perakos Family Cares Art Gallery, dedicated in honor of Wallace H. Rowe III H'57 P'77 '79. The paintings were acquired through the Cleve Gray Foundation and the school’s Visual Arts Advisory Council. Its purpose is to guide the school in its acquisition of works of art to ensure a positive outcome for the school, the potential donor or lender, and the work intended for donation or loan.
 

Poster for "Almost, Maine"

This past weekend The Frederick Gunn School Drama Society brought home three Halo Awards for this spring’s production of “Almost, Maine,” a romantic comedy written by John Cariani. The awards, which honor high school students’ achievements in all aspects of theatre, were presented by Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury via YouTube on July 10. The cast and crew of “Almost, Maine,” earned a total of seven nominations. Congratulations to our 2021 Halo Award winners!
 

Drew and  Audrey in "Almost, Maine"

Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Almost, Maine,” who garnered a total of seven Halo Award nominations. Presented annually, the Halo Awards celebrate the best in Connecticut high school theater. This year’s Halo Awards will be presented virtually on Saturday, July 10, at 7 p.m. Tickets are free and may be reserved online through Seven Angels Theatre. You must register in advance to view the online awards presentation.
 

"Almost, Maine," a real romantic comedy by John Cariani

The Frederick Gunn School Drama Society will present “Almost, Maine,” a romantic comedy by John Cariani, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, and Saturday, May 22, in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. While our campus remains closed to the community, and only students and faculty may attend in person, the Saturday performance will be livestreamed. Please use this link to create an account with Broadway on Demand prior to May 22. This step must be completed in advance to access to the livestream event.
 

"Open Hearted" by Kaleigh Laurendeau ’21

Original artwork by three students will be featured in a new exhibit opening this Saturday, April 3, at the Washington Art Association. In its inaugural High School Expo, WAA presents the work of area art students, who pursued their creativity to navigate the isolation of an unprecedented and uncertain year.
 

Joyce McFarland '20 painting in TPACC

Today marked the start of a new Co-Curricular Program for the Winter Term. Students are required to attend two, half-hour sessions each week with options that range from sports psychology, outdoor recreation and a Mind & Body Fitness Challenge to music, photography, Model United Nations (MUN), engineering and more.