Art in its various forms has been a part of our school since its inception. Frederick Gunn wove music into the early fabric of The Gunnery and organized plays for his students and town residents, which led to the establishment of Washington’s amateur theater group, the Dramalites. This commitment to making art part of the everyday experience for students, and finding ways to connect the school with the community through art, is renewed today with the opening of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. Located at the heart of our campus, this beautiful new building supports The Gunnery’s Vision for Arts and Community and the continued growth of the school’s visual arts, music, drama and dance programs. In addition to providing a place for students to develop and showcase their artistic abilities, the center will allow for the expansion of partnerships between the school, local arts organizations and the community.

At The Gunnery, we ask students to learn to take public risks, to be makers not consumers, to be citizens who imagine a beautiful future without cynicism, to face failure with hope.

Vision for Arts and Community at the Gunnery

Our Vision for Arts and Community at The Gunnery outlines four elements – Creation, Risk, Connection and Wonder – that are essential to each student’s experience in the arts.

At The Gunnery, we invite our students to be creators and makers. Whether in the visual or performing arts, students are asked to leave their mark on the world, to challenge someone to see the world in a new way, to express their perfectly unique point of view.

The arts also break down barriers for those who are nervous about trying new things, as well as those who want to actively engage in the arts for the rest of their lives. “I know of so many students for whom the arts had a real transformative impact during their time here and who are grateful for all the great work that goes into allowing students to have that experience,” Head of School Peter Becker said.

All students are required to take the equivalent of one credit in art. This can be accomplished through three single-term courses or one full-year course in our music or visual arts programs. While the requirement is one credit, our students are encouraged, and often do take more than the required classes. The goal is for every student to recognize and appreciate the valuable role that art plays in our lives. “It is unique in its ability to draw forth parts of who we are as humans that other pursuits cannot. Art enables us to see, to hear, to listen, to feel, and ultimately to think in ways we would not without it,” Becker said.

Arts News

Student Earns Six Scholastic Art Awards

Charlotte Xu '20 was honored this month at the 30th annual Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards, the largest juried student art exhibition in the state. Five of Xu’s photographs and one painting were selected by a blue ribbon panel of professional artists and university art faculty to be included in a statewide exhibition in the University of Hartford’s Silpe Gallery from January 13 through February 1.

Students and Faculty Celebrate Opening of Arts and Community Center

The Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center was officially opened to students and faculty on Monday, January 6, when the first School Meeting of 2020 was held in the Tisch Family Auditorium. Head of School Peter Becker inaugurated the new building by welcoming students back from winter break and acknowledging that they are the first generation of students who have the opportunity to live the school's Vision for the Arts.

Drama Society to Present “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in the Tisch Family Auditorium

The Gunnery Drama Society is proud to present “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” a musical by James Lapine and Peter Parnell, on Thursday, February 27, Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29, in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. All performances begin at 7 p.m. The community is welcome to attend and admission is free. Registration is required. Please call (860) 350-0177.

The Gunnery Welcomes Documentary Filmmaker Kay D. Ray

The Gunnery is pleased to welcome documentary filmmaker, producer and director Kay D. Ray to campus on November 14. Ray, who is the aunt of Zhanara Ray-Tunis '20, will visit classes, including Lincoln Turner's Film Production Class, to speak about her work, and will present her newest film, “Lady Be Good, Instrumental Women in Jazz,” at an all-school gathering. The event, which is the first in The Gunnery's 2019-20 Speaker Series, will be held from  7 to 8 p.m. in the Ogden D. Miller Memorial Athletic Center.

Castonguay and Sutherland

Congratulations to Drew Sutherland '21, who was chosen to perform as part of the 2019 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Choir as a tenor. The concert, held November 9 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, featured performances by the NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles, which represent the top-performing high school musicians in the United States.

Four Students Selected for Celebration of Young Photographers

Four Gunnery students have been selected to participate in the 9th annual Celebration of Young Photographers sponsored by ASAP! Jihoon An '20 was selected for his photograph titled, "Pollution." Vincent Cai '20 was selected for his photographs, “A Warm Kiss” and "Looking For The New Year." John Feng '20 was selected for his photographs, "Nostalgia" and "Aging," and Anna Gleason '23 was selected for her photographs, "Freedom" and "Embrace."

Poster for Washington Green Cemetery Tour

Three Gunn Scholars will serve as tour guides for the 12th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour on Friday, October 25, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Andrew Byrne-King '20, Alex Zhang '20, and Gwendolyn Brown '20, said they learned about the cemetery tour from History Department Chair Bart McMan when they visited the Gunn Historical Museum in September to view the new, long-term exhibit, “Washington, Connecticut – An American Story.” The students were also accompanied by School Archivist and Gunn Scholar Coordinator Misa Giroux and museum curator Stephen Bartkus.