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Mr. Merrion consults with students on their 2D art projects

Arts are integral to the McCallie experience and boys have many options to choose from.

Some boys choose to continue with an instrument they have been learning for sometime, others choose an entirely new instrument or musical activity to try. All of the arts disciplines focus on developing the critical skills of creativity, observation, and problem-solving. Upper school boys are required to take five semesters of fine arts and can choose from more than 20 classes and mediums. In addition, there are many opportunities to pursue artistic interests outside the classroom in instrumental musical or choral groups, and theater.

McCallie student discussing his art project with his teacher in 3D art

Visual Arts

McCallie offers several courses in studio arts, including both 2D and 3D. Students learn the basics of space, form, size, shape, line, colour texture, tonal values, perspective, design, and aesthetic organization of visual elements in art object (composition) and are given many opportunities to use them with different art media. 



The Theater Arts program at McCallie and Girls Preparatory School is led by Chelsea Padro. The program's offerings include three dramatic productions annually, including the popular 10-Minute Plays written by faculty and students.  


Students enact a scene from Peter and the Star Catcher
close up of a McCallie student playing acoustic guitar


Through the study of music boys learn the habits of deliberate practice, disciplined focus, and resilience.Boys have the opportunity to play with an impressive, diverse, and critically-recognized, collection of musical groups. Offerings include guitar ensemble, wind ensemble, strings and orchestra, and more than half a dozen choirs and choral ensembles, including handbells.


Video & Film

The Center for Animation, Video and Entertainment (CAVE) at McCallie is an unparalleled resource for boys with an interest in video production, editing, sound design, podcasting, and more.McCallie students can push their creative energies to the limit, making and editing films of their own. In addition, boys can take a number of courses on film and movie history.


McCallie student filming on a video camera
middle school student working on print making with art teacher Suzanne Mortimer

Middle School Art

At this level boys are exposed and given opportunities to explore many types of art. They weld, throw pots, paint, draw, photograph, and design. After exposing students to the basics in skills and ideas, McCallie boys have a wider variety of opportunities to follow their artistic passions. Middle School courses begin with anchoring projects that teach foundational skills and concepts like shading techniques, how to make things appear three dimensional, and color mixing. Much thought is given to what students are likely to come across when they take art in their later years and effort goes into building from these elements. Students also learn about individual arts and some art history along the way.