Visual Arts

About Studio Incamminati

At the heart of our visual arts is our unique partnership with Studio Incamminati, one of the nation’s foremost schools of art, where professional teaching artists show our students how to see the world in higher definition as they learn the techniques and principals of humanist realism. Nelson Shanks, the late world-renowned artist and co-founder of Studio Incamminati, said that one of the goals of his Realism school and program was to train students to “see”, and to do so beyond the shape and color of the subject. Working with professionals from Studio Incamminati on a daily basis is an opportunity available only to students at Doane.

Nelson Shanks paints a portrait of Henry and Lee Rowan

(Studio Incamminati founder Nelson Shanks paints a portrait of Henry and Lee Rowan. - 2012)


Lower School Visual Arts

Doane Academy believes art is an integral part of the Lower School curriculum. The visual arts program provides the maximum opportunity for all students to have hands-on experiences in developing their individual creative expression and a deeper appreciation for art.

Students attend visual art class twice per week. Elements and principles of art such as: line, form, symmetry, texture and repetition are used as foundation to explore a variety of mediums, subject matter and artistic movements. Students make cross-curricular connections between themes in their homerooms and projects in the art studio as we explore art from around the world, both past and present.

Students build on previous skills to create unique and inventive works of art. Emphasis is put on craftsmanship and proper usage of materials as students are encouraged to take great pride in their work. In-class projects are supported by a number of field trips and school-wide art exhibits throughout the year.  

Upper & Middle School Visual Arts

Doane Academy’s art department educates not only the novice “artist” but also provides opportunities for the serious art students to further develop their skills. Our Upper School students participate in local, county and state exhibitions where they regularly win awards at the county and state levels.

The innovative partnership between Doane Academy and Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art, founded by Leona and the late Nelson Shanks (world renowned painter of presidents, popes, princesses, and more), offers students benefits that go far beyond the art room. Taught by instructors from the studio, students participate in drawing and painting. Students draw at the easel, abstracting from nature to learn the technique of gesture, blocking-in using straight lines and angles, seeing shapes in perspective, understanding relative value fields, structural drawing, and color study. Critiques are used to discuss student work upon its completion.

Students also have the ability to enroll in our ceramics program. This studio class is intended for those studying ceramics for the first time as well as those moving on to intermediate studies. The work leads up to a portfolio of finished pieces by the end of the school year. 


Alumni have gone on to careers in the arts including an animator for Sesame Street, photographer for the New York Times, and an illustrator (and writer) of children's books.