Arts Facilities

VISUAL ARTS SPACES

 
Ceramics Studio

Located in the modern addition of the historic Wissahickon Inn, our ceramics classes take place in a college-level facility that features 15 wheels, a large gas kiln, electric kilns, and individual space for each student’s work. In a digital age, how has the handmade ceramic object remained culturally viable? The studio and classes are used as a jumping-off point for students to tackle such questions. Through imagining, making, using, and redesigning objects, students develop a better understanding of personal aesthetics and design thinking.
Barbara Crawford Gallery
The Barbara Crawford Gallery, named in honor of a legendary art teacher at Chestnut Hill Academy, was established in 2000. Crawford profoundly influenced the lives of hundreds of students with her passion for teaching and love of art. The gallery serves as an important teaching tool, offering our students the opportunity to experience a diverse range of artwork through rotating shows by significant area artists. Students of all ages engage in discussions and draw inspiration from the works displayed throughout the year. The Crawford Gallery is also one of the spaces used to display the annual faculty and student shows.
Painting Studio
The Upper School painting studio is a spacious well-lit working space in which painting, drawing, and printmaking are taught. Students are encouraged to work independently and often develop portfolios for their college admission process. A number of recent graduates are currently attending top art schools across the country.


VidCast Studio
The VidCast Studio at SCH Academy is an innovative digital music and video classroom featuring today’s leading technology and placing creativity and self-expression in the community domain. SCH was the first independent school in the area to offer video production as an elective in Upper School in 2007. Since then, students have excelled and are now being accepted into major film, new media, music composition, and communications programs such as New York University, University of Southern California, Emerson College, Pomona College, Elon University, Kenyon College, and Boston University. In addition, students are winning awards at area filmmaking competitions.  
Photography Studio
The Photography Studio suite combines a traditional 10-stall darkroom and film developing room with a large, well-lit classroom specifically designed for digital imaging. Students have access to high-end scanners and printers capable of producing sharp, award-winning images up to 60” in diameter.  
VidCast 2 & 3
Located one on each campus, the Lower School computer labs (VidCast 2 and 3) were created as an extension of the original VidCast Studio to provide rich experiences in new media for our youngest boys and girls.


Woodworking Studio

The SCH woodshop is fully equipped with everything necessary to create sophisticated furniture projects. Both state-of-the-art power tools as well as an extensive collection of high-quality hand tools empower our students to create impressive original projects. Students begin learning about working with wood in the their Lower and Middle School years and build on this foundation in Upper School. Ninth graders have the opportunity to build dovetailed boxes with laser-cut designs. As students progress through more advanced classes, they are encouraged to push their designs in creative directions and pursue more ambitious projects.


NEW MEDIA SPACES

Digital Fabrication Lab

The Digital Fabrication Lab is a place where students learn to design and prototype the world around them. They learn to design and model with 3D modeling software, such as SketchUp, Rhinoceros, and Maya, as well as digitally fabricate their projects with the lab’s laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and 3D printers. They get to fully immerse themselves in the complete design process and refine their problem-solving skills in real-world situations with courses offered in the lab on Digital Arts/Graphic Design, 3D Modeling and Animation, Architecture, and CEL 2D/3D Digital Fabrication.


PERFORMING ARTS SPACES

Epiphany Chapel

The Epiphany Chapel on our Willow Grove Campus hails from 1908 when a worship space was needed in a formerly church-affiliated CHA. Its stained glass chancel windows by Willet Studios represent the story of the Magi. The four windows along the Rorer Center side of the Chapel are modern designs crafted by Willet Studios from 1980 through 2003, depicting youth encountering a variety of experiences such as the arts, sciences, humanities, and God. Currently, the Chapel is a premier recital and performance space, used for performances by the Second and Third Grade Boys’ Chorus, Middle School Boys’ Jazz Band and Orchestra, small instrumental recitals, and organ concerts. Lower and Middle School assemblies also take place in this space. Evidence of the original organ system remain as architectural elements decorated with inspirational phrases such as “Your Young Men Shall See Visions” and “Your Old Men Shall Dream Dreams.” The space was recently totally refurbished in tribute to its unique identity as “one of the iconic spaces of SCH Academy.”
The Rec

The Rec performing arts center is housed in a former carriage house constructed for the school’s historic main building, the Wissahickon Inn, when it was a fashionable vacation hotel. The carriage house was initially renovated as a recreation room and gymnasium when the entire property was purchased by the school in the late 1880s and to this day the facility is familiarly called “the Rec.” Recently refitted with state-of-the-art audio and lighting equipment, the Rec is a flexible performance space adaptable to all forms of theatre production. The staging is mobile and serves a number of needs. The Rec is home to Players, SCH Academy’s Upper School drama troupe, which uses the space for its annual fall and spring productions. It is also home to the Lower School Boychoir and its annual spring opera/musical show.
McNeil Recital Hall

Located on our Cherokee Campus, the McNeil Recital Hall was built and dedicated in the late 1980s as a premier instrumental ensemble teaching space and recital venue. The performance platform is convex, which enables performing groups to wrap around an audience, taking best advantage of a fine acoustic based on hard sound-reflective surfaces. Private lesson recitals and instrumental ensemble practices are performed in here. The platform supports a nine-foot concert grand Baldwin piano that features prominently during instruction periods and recitals.