WillowWood Arts offerings are broad, and students are encouraged to explore any and all of them.
Lower School Art Programs
All WillowWood students are given opportunities to connect with a variety of art forms, and to find their passions. Lower School students have Art Classes with registered Art Therapist Shirley Eknovitz for opportunities to discuss interactions and classroom-culture in an nonthreatening, generative setting.
Lower School students also take Music and Drama throughout, can participate in Choir, and are exposed to Film, Digital design, and as many forms of art as we can fit into the school year.
We encourage individual abilities and interests as part of our mandate to help students find their strengths and passions, If your child has a skill, or talent, we will find a way to shine a light on it.
High School Arts
Students in WillowWood Arts can look forward to all sorts of creation: drawing and sculpting, painting and collage, installation art, found art, and technical training.
In recent years the Visual Arts program has been bolstered and expanded via the digital arts – photography, film, web and app design – and allowed for greater and greater integration into other courses and areas of the school. Students in Visual Arts show their work in gallery shows, film screenings, in-school performances, the Spring Musical, yearbook, and more.
Art forms included range from traditional painting to TikToks. Courses have included Photography and Technical Arts, Dance, Creative Writing and more.
Our Visual Arts program goes back decades and has helped develop many inspired and gifted artists who’ve gone on to OCAD and other Fine and Practical Arts programs.
Our Theatre program has also run for decades and has blossomed mightily since the gymnasium was built in 2001. We now have a tradition of two big annual shows – Holiday Happening, a variety show in December, and a full-school Musical Theatre production in the Spring.
All levels of the school are involved in these productions. These productions also offer opportunities for many to shine offstage – in costuming, makeup, backstage crew, advertising and more.
Recent shows have included Fame, Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof, Wizard of Oz and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat. Hilary Rahbar has directed WillowWood’s theatrical productions for over a decade, and still loves it.
Our Music program is thriving under the direction of Jeff Ramage, who teaches Music courses as well as forming lunchtime bands, putting on Coffee House Open Mic performances (online and in person), and collaborating with the Choir to provide music for our Theatre Productions.
He also teaches the technical aspects of the Arts, teaching Sound Technology (a new course in 2020) and heading a team of students who set up and manage sound and lights in all sorts of settings. Collaborations with the Film courses is also in the works, via Foley Arts and sound design.
WillowWood is well-ahead of the curve in its Film Studies program. Students begin studying Film as part of Language Arts in Middle School and can study it formally in Grade 11 and 12 Film Studies. Many students who struggle with dyslexia find they are strongly literate and skilled in the language of Film - and focusing on the non-written aspects of storytelling allows them to find strengths they hadn’t noticed.
We send students off to Film School at College or Uni levels nearly every year.
Many students who struggle with dyslexia find they are strongly literate and skilled in the language of Film – and focusing on the non-written aspects of storytelling allows them to find strengths they hadn’t noticed.