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Creative Arts

We have a vibrant Visual and Performing Arts Department. Our seven faculty members are exceptional educators with solid professional performance and artmaking backgrounds.

Be your best at:

Collaboration

Project management

Technical skills

 

 

Actors' Studio

Students develop their dramatic, expressive skills while exploring themselves as actors, writers, and
communicators. Through improvisational theater exercises, students explore their creative expression and
movement. Through reading, examining, and performing monologues and short scenes from a wide range of
theatrical work, students experience the full range of human emotions from comedy to tragedy. Throughout
the rehearsal process, students develop theater technique and understanding of blocking and staging. Their
work culminates with a performance presentation of work studied in class. Available as a one or two-semester course.

Theatrical Production

In this year-long course, you will develop the skills necessary for all of the technical aspects of theater. This includes set design and construction, lighting design and operation, prop-making and design, sound, and stage management. You will apply your skills by being instrumental in the design and construction of the fall and spring productions. This is a project-based course, which will give you a greater understanding of the range of talents required to produce a theatrical production. You will see tangible and concrete results through the application of your work, use problem-solving skills and collaborate with the class and the performers on capstone shows for the CATS community.

Acting for Film

In this one-semester course, you will develop skills needed for film and TV acting while learning about the industry and the standard expectations relating to casting and performance. You will critically assess the performances of fellow and celebrity actors and you will develop and create your own acting video audition piece. Upon leaving the class, you will have built a solid repertoire, developed your acting skills and have an audition reel which you can show to prospective colleges.

Chorus

Students learn to sing music of all styles (pop, rock, jazz, musical theater, classical) with others in unison and in harmony. The chorus performs at least two times per year with repertoire they rehearse each semester.  Throughout this course, students develop an understanding of their voice, healthy vocal technique, sight-singing and music notation reading skills, exercises to develop the voice, and an overall sense of musicianship. This course is open to students of all ability levels, and students who have never sung in an ensemble before are encouraged to join!

Piano 1

Students learn the basics of playing piano and develop their musicianship. Reading music notation, ear training, music theory, piano exercises, and sight reading at an introductory level are all important elements of the Piano 1 course. Students play from repertoire of varying styles and eras. Class sizes are small to maximize individual instruction, and students play in both an individual and group setting. Performance is optional, but encouraged, for Piano 1 students.

Piano 2

Students build on their pre-existing piano skills and continue to develop their musicianship. Reading music notation, ear training, music theory, piano exercises, and sight reading at an intermediate level are all important elements of the Piano 2 course. Repertoire for this course is partially based on student interest, including pieces from varying styles and eras. Class sizes are small to maximize individual instruction, and students play in both an individual and group setting. Performance is optional, but encouraged, for Piano 2 students.

Piano 3

Students work towards an advanced level of proficiency on piano and become well-rounded musicians. Piano 3 is heavily theory, exercise, and sight-reading focused to foster well-rounded musicians capable of using their piano abilities in various settings. Repertoire for this course is mostly based on student interest, including pieces from varying styles and eras. Class sizes are small to maximize individual instruction, and students play in both an individual and group setting. Performance is required for Piano 3 students.

Piano 4

Students play advanced repertoire of their choosing and begin composing their own music, building on previous theory knowledge. Students will sight read and play keyboard exercises proficiently. This course is designed around the interests of each student and includes a high level of one-to-one instruction. Performance is required for Piano 4 students.

Business of Music

Students explore the backbone of the music industry, learning about copyright law, band deals, and music promotion. They look at music icons and how artists rise to fame. The class utilizes social media to promote art and music in our student body and manages a Facebook page, CATS Café.

Music Technology & Production

You will learn to compose and produce music using the same programs as used within the music industry. From EDM, to jazz, to rock and roll, you will pick apart many different genres and learn how to recreate some of the greatest hits of all time. The class also teaches composition skills. Prior piano experience is a plus, as much of this class is based around playing the keyboard. Prerequisites: ESL Level 3 or higher. This is a year-long course and also a CATS Innovation course

Instrumental Ensemble

Student instrumentalists play in groups to study some of the greatest composers in history and enhance their musicality. This course explores the music spanning the past 300 years, covering music icons from Bach, to Mozart, to Gershwin, and more. There are multiple opportunities for the students to share their work to the school with performances throughout the year.

Graphic Design

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to elements of graphic design. Students utilize computer programs from the Adobe Creative Cloud such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Class projects include poster design, photo manipulation, logo design, and creating a business identity. Students learn valuable skills in color, composition, and typography and the importance these have on creating eye-catching design.

Digital Photography and Video Production

Students learn about photographic composition, light manipulation, and elements of design, and they develop skills in digital imaging using the Adobe Suite in the Innovation lab. In addition, students learn how to develop a storyline, record an event, or promote an idea using the media of film. Skills in editing are learned on Final Cut Pro and other digital programs. In addition, students learn about the history of film.  Student produced films are presented to the school community in an end of the term Film Festival as a capstone project and viewed on social media.

Creating Comics 1!

This course is an introduction to creating comics. Students learn effective visual storytelling techniques, how to compose a comic page, and how to create a visually entertaining story. Traditional materials such as pencil and ink are used to develop comic illustrations. Students work from assigned scripts as well as write and draw their own five-page comic. Creative writing, composition, anatomy, and fine art drawing skills are developed as students explore the art of creating comics.

Creating Comics 2!

In this advanced-level course, students learn effective visual storytelling techniques, how to compose a comic page, and how to create a visually entertaining story. In addition to traditional materials like pencil and ink, students also use Adobe Photoshop in the innovation lab to digitally color their work. The capstone project for this course is a fifteen-page comic that is uploaded online. Creative writing, composition, anatomy, and advanced drawing skills are developed as students explore the art of creating comics. Student works will be viewed on the internet.

Introduction to Fashion Design: Reclaimed Material

In this project-based course, students learn the basics of sewing, garment construction, and inspiration- based design. Units include learning both machine and hand sewing; an introduction to pattern-making and garment creation; and designing a mini collection from which students will select one design to make for an end-of-term fashion show. Second semester, students create a garment from reclaimed materials, utilizing the skills they learned first semester, and then develop a second garment based on a theme chosen by the class. Integrated in the garment curriculum, students learn about fashion history, including notable designers of the past.

Advanced Fashion I: Sustainability

Through a crash course students will be re-introduced to sewing, pattern-drafting, and design, before embarking on a semester long project designing, developing, and executing a class collection comprised entirely from recycled and unconventional materials. Expectations include two garments: one created from recycled textiles and one created from unconventional materials.

Advanced Fashion: Technology & Marketing

In this class, students experience working at a fashion school level to learn brand development and what it is like to collaborate within a team in the fashion industry to develop a collection. Students begin the semester by producing two sketchbook design/inspiration projects. They then break into groups to design and develop cohesive collections. Students assume responsibility for creating a brand name, logo, and collection title, as well as design and construct one look per groupmate. Students interact with the music production class to create music for the runway show and the photography class to stage both an editorial shoot and marketing campaign for their collections. Lastly, students are responsible for generating one 3-D printed accessory to go with their collection.

Advanced Fashion Construction

This course gives students who have taken Introduction to Fashion Design the opportunity to develop their sewing skills and learn new techniques. Students learn French draping, how to alter patterns, when to use a wide range of fabrics, and how to improve their fashion drawing skills. Key projects include developing a portfolio of fashion designs and creating a mini-line for a photo shoot and runway show.

Costume Design and Construction

This is a course where students design and create costumes for the Fall Play or Spring Musical. Students collaborate with the Theatre Production class, the actors, and the director to create costumes, which function well for the actors, complement the set design, and enhance the production. Be inspired to invent fabulous, imaginative costumes for our CATS theatre.

Textile Design

Students learn various textile development and modification techniques, as well as textile properties. Textile development includes knitting, dyeing, and printing as well as various fabric modifications. Students utilize their skills to create an end of the term garment.

Studio Art: Introduction to Drawing

Introduction to Drawing is a studio course that introduces students to the comprehensive visual language of drawing. Various projects and presentations expose students to numerous drawing approaches, including ways of structuring the picture plane, creating believable space with linear perspective, and modelling form with shading. Students apply these skills to idea generation, form development, experimental variations on a design, investigative studies of creative problem-solving, and expressions of movement and spatial illusion. Using a variety of media, students draw from observation and are introduced to the processes involved in planning, researching, and actualizing a major drawing project. Critiques and lectures help students develop an understanding of the critical issues of drawing and of its context within the history of art. PowerPoint presentations, the Internet, and field trips to museums and galleries further students’ understanding of historic and contemporary art. Each student submits a final portfolio of work developed throughout the semester to fulfill the course requirements. Suggested readings include The Language of Drawing by Edward Hill, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Color by Betty Edwards, The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides, and The Art of Drawing by Bernard Chaet.

Studio Art: Introduction to Painting

The purpose of the course is for students to explore, experiment, and become familiar with the medium of paint; to build skills of observation; and to learn to create form and materiality of simple and complex objects through paint. Students build an understanding of the properties of color, composition, and perspective and develop an understanding of basic design terminology used to express visual ideas and concepts. Students are introduced to examples of historic and contemporary painting through PowerPoint, reproductions in books, the Internet, and visits to art museums and galleries. Midterm and final portfolios of work produced throughout the semester are required of all students to successfully fulfill course requirements. The portfolio is evaluated on the effort and the quality of the work completed. Suggested readings include The Language of Drawing by Edward Hill, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Color by Betty Edwards, The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides, and The Art of Drawing by Bernard Chaet.

Studio Art: Advanced Drawing & Painting

Advanced Drawing and Painting is a studio course which gives advanced art students an opportunity to explore the combined visual languages of drawing and painting. Students develop their skills of self-expression through assigned, independent, self-directed, and collaborative projects. Students further their understanding of how to structure the picture plan, create believable space with linear perspective, model form, and understand the properties and materiality of paint. Students apply these skills to idea generation, form development, experimental variations on a design, investigative studies of creative problem solving, and expressions of movement and spatial illusion. Using a variety of media, students draw and paint from observation and are encouraged to develop their personal voice. Critiques and lectures help students develop an understanding of the critical issues of drawing and painting and of its context within the history of art. PowerPoint presentations, the Internet, and field trips to museums and galleries further students’ understanding of historic and contemporary art. Each student submits a mid-year and final portfolio of work to fulfill the course requirements. Suggested readings include The Language of Drawing by Edward Hill, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Color by Betty Edwards, The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides, and The Art of Drawing by Bernard Chaet.

Computer-Aided Design

In this course students learn introductory CAD skills to aid them in the drafting, designing, and engineering process. They learn basic concepts, processes, and skills required of architectural and industrial design professionals. Students design virtual objects and print them on a 3D printer. They begin by designing a piece of furniture. Students are introduced to set design for theatre, and by the end of the class, students will have all of the skills necessary to digitally design their “dream house.”

 

 

Printmaking Survey

In this survey of printmaking techniques, students learn a variety of print methods, including monotype, collagraph, relief, screen-printing, and photo-etching. From painterly prints to linocuts to original designs on tee shirts, students gain a well-rounded understanding of some of the most popular methods of making prints. Through these studio processes, they learn how to combine techniques, use studio equipment, and develop new, original creative content. Independent final projects demonstrate these skills, with which students will create a suite of prints suitable for inclusion in college application portfolios.

Advanced Placement electives

AP Art History

AP Art History students probe art’s formal and cultural past from prehistoric times through the present day. The class is organized into chronological themes, such as Art and Spirituality, Converging Cultures, Realism vs. Idealism, and Creating Identities. Participants learn to critically analyze a variety of media- from painting to photography to performance art.  Students not only learn to write about art but in addition keep a sketchbook and explore different styles and techniques through hands-on assignments. The class makes frequent visits to art museums and galleries in the area. Students leave with a new understanding of the importance of art as a universal human phenomenon. Prerequisite: ESL Level 5.

AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design and A

Through studio practice, application of design concepts, and informed decision-making, students assemble a body of artwork that demonstrates a high level of quality and growth of content, technique, and process. Students develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution. All students enrolled in these AP art courses are required to submit their portfolio to the College Board for grading and possible college credit.  The AP Art portfolios will each consist of two sections: 1. Sustained Investigation: Students will submit 15 digital images of art and design projects that exhibit a persistent exploration of concept, technique and execution.  2. Selected Works:  AP 2-D and Design and AP Drawing students will submit 5 works which demonstrate skilful synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas.  AP 3-D Art and Design students will send 10 digital images of five works (two views of each) that demonstrate skilful synthesis of materials, process, and ideas. This course is rigorous and students must be willing to make a commitment to the completion of a strong portfolio. Prerequisite: Instructor approval

Faculty 

Kim Barry
Department Chair
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Kim Barry

Department Chair

BFA, Fine Arts & Sculpture, Rhode Island School of Design
MFA, Painting, University of Massachusetts

Kim M. Barry has been instrumental in establishing the fine arts programs at CATS, in fashion, music, theater, and the digital arts. Ms Barry has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design and an Associate of Fine Arts from Colby Sawyer College. Ms Barry is a professional ceramic artist and painter. She is a member of Hatch Street Studios and owner of Clay Trout Pottery. She lives in a small coastal town in South Eastern Massachusetts.

Kent Archer
Fine Art Teacher
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Kent Archer

Fine Art Teacher

BFA, School of Visual Arts, New York

Kent Archer brings to CATS his experience as a working arts professional alongside his passion for teaching. He teaches the fundamentals of art and helps students build portfolios for college admission. Kent has taught art courses at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Sacred Heart High School in Kingston Massachusetts and numerous local art centers. Kent has worked professionally in the field of comic books since 2005 when he co-launched the popular webcomic − Dr McNinja. His work has been published by Archie Comics, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, and Topps Trading Cards. Kent attended the received his BFA in Cartooning from the School of Visual Arts.

Roland Lewan
Music Teacher
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Roland Lewan

Music Teacher

BA, Film Scoring & Composition, Berklee College of Music

Roland 'Skip' Lewan is a musician and composer from Georgia who has brought his passion for music to CATS Academy. He a gigging musician and his instruments include piano, saxophone, and voice. Currently Skip is a worship director at the Kings Chapel as well as a vocalist in the group Green Line X-tension. He received his undergraduate in Film Scoring and Composition from Berklee College of Music. Skip has interned with award-winning composer Yuval Ron, in Los Angeles, where he worked on the project, Color Therapy for Samsung which was launched in London, Vancouver, Bangalore, New York City, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Montreal, Paris, and Shanghai. He started the Music Industry program at CATS Academy which integrates music technology and the current state of the music industry into composition, production, and artist management.

Mark Phelan
Visual Arts Teacher
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Mark Phelan

Visual Arts Teacher

MFA, Painting, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
BFA, Printmaking, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Mark Phelan is a working artist from Southeastern Massachusetts with a studio in Kilburn Mills in New Bedford. He teaches painting and drawing at CATS Academy Boston. Prior to working at CATS, Mark taught at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has a MFA in Painting and a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Mark exhibits his work regularly and it is in the archived collections of University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and Massasoit Community College, and in private collections around the world.

Nate Punches
Theater Director
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Nate Punches

Theater Director

MA, Theater Education, Emerson College

Nathaniel oversees the Drama program at CATS. He trains students how to effectively use their voices, bodies, and imaginations both on and off stage. This aids in the development of their inner voices and self confidence. Prior to joining the faculty at CATS academy, Nathaniel worked as a freelance teacher/technician/designer/director/actor in the greater Boston area. He served as the resident set designer for Stage 284 and directed programs for Boston Children's Theater. Before that, Nathaniel worked as the Technical Director for Actor's Shakespeare Project and The Barnstormer's Theater. Last year he filled in as the interim Theater Director for Brimmer and May School. Nathaniel received his Master's in Theater Education from Emerson College.

Travis Liquori
Music Teacher
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Travis Liquori

Music Teacher

TJ Liquori directs the chorus at CATS Academy and music directs the annual musical each spring. He also teaches all levels of keyboard classes, providing students with the tools they need to develop skill on a musical instrument and an understanding of music theory. Prior to joining CATS Academy, TJ taught as a K-5 general music teacher at 5 schools in Woburn, MA. He also wrote and directed the annual elementary school musical, as well as running an after school African drumming program and a singer-songwriter program. During the summers, TJ is a teaching artist for the Dedicated Performing Arts Team at The American School in Switzerland. He received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he also directed the student classical chamber choir “Crepusculum". Currently, TJ is an avid music theater composer. He has been commissioned by both The American School in Switzerland and Children’s Stage Adventures to write original children’s musicals for touring and non-touring performances, and has also had his work produced at The Auburn Players Community Theatre and Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, NY.

Sam Donovan
Fashion teacher
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Sam Donovan

Fashion teacher

BA, Fashion Design, Parsons, New York

During his degree, Sam focused on sustainable design techniques such as zero waste pattern drafting, which he used designing his thesis. While at Parsons, he interned for numerous designers and design companies, including Anna Sui, Gap, and Eileen Fisher, where he contributed zero waste designs to the company’s cut and sew line. Immediately upon graduating school, Sam was recruited to participate on Project Runway, where he placed 1st runner-up. He would later compete on an AllStar edition of the series. Sam has freelanced for Macy’s and the Hamburg-based sustainable denim line Bridge & Tunnel, and now designs for private clients.

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