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Art + Design

Students interested in art and design become a part of a fun, vibrant community, working with exceptional faculty artists who offer the guidance and technical skills needed to help our students discover their creative capacity.

Our Art + Design Program is flexible, meeting the needs of students who simply want to fulfill a required art credit, as well as those who are looking for a four-year program that allows them to pursue an interest or a career in art and design. We emphasize the connections between fine art and design, creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving. 

Art + Design artists in all stages - aspiring, emerging, and established - have opportunities to grow in creative work and thought through lively engagement with their craft.

three photos of art students engaging with thier craft

Freshman Artist Portfolio Process

Incoming freshmen who are considering a four-year art education are asked to submit a digital portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your work, which shows how your skills and ideas have developed over a period of time. It demonstrates your creativity, personality, abilities, and commitment and helps us to evaluate your potential and placement.

Please login to your parent portal account to access the Art Portfolio submission form and to learn more. The Art Portfolio submission form is listed under “Optional” admissions checklist items. You will be able to upload your pieces on this form.

Parent Portal Account Login  

The deadline to submit an art portfolio is January 30, 2024.


“My art courses at McNick have helped me push my creativity in both quality and concept, but they have also helped me be confident enough to create what I see and want to create...I am more comfortable in expressing myself and my thoughts for what they are instead of editing them and myself for others.”

Isabella, Class of '21

Students’ brilliance on display at Taft Museum of Art

The work of five McNicholas visual communications students is on display at the annual Artists Reaching Classrooms (ARC) Exhibition. You can see the artwork of seniors Amanda Braig and Grace Elpers and juniors Noel Shelly, Devon Coleman, and Kennedy Dehner at The Taft Museum of Art through March 30.

McNicholas student testing the strength of her bridge made of pasta.

At McNicholas, we build bridges...but sometimes we break them too! Ms. Gaskins’s Architectural Drafting students designed, constructed, and then tested the strength of their spaghetti bridges. Junior Caroline Mohahan’s brilliant design was the strongest, holding 14.1 pounds!

Candle lighting at the McNicholas NAHS induction ceremony

Twenty-six Rockets were inducted to the National Art Honor Society this April. NAHS inspires and recognizes students who have shown an outstanding ability and interest in art and supports members in their efforts to attain the highest standards in art scholarship, character, and service.

McNicholas students hold their egg drop contraptions

Architecture students tested the design of their egg drop contraptions during the 2022 Architecture Egg Drop Competition. Even with the added challenge of a windy day, 18 of 25 eggs made it safely from the window of the convent to the blacktop three stories down.

Scholastic Gold Key Winners from McNicholas

Conner Dute ’22 and Conner Gibson ’22 were both awarded Gold Keys for their architecture work. Connor Dute was recognized for his pizza oven rendering, Rock-In Park, and Conner Gibson received his Gold Key for The Cozy Comb, a plan for sustainable living for displaced persons. Both Conners will move on the National Scholastic competition.