Creativity and expression are an essential part of the St. Mary's experience. From her very first day, each girl explores her interests and creativity through curiosity and collaboration, discovers her unique talents, and finds her own perspective.

In writing, painting, filmmaking, and sculpture, as well as music, dancing, and acting, girls use the creative process to explore and master skills and concepts, and provide peer feedback to achieve excellence. We make certain all of our girls have ample opportunities to engage in the arts, especially the performing arts. 


From Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade, art is offered as a special subject. Our 8th grade Ensemble program includes filmmaking, studio art, theater, and dance. In Early Childhood and Lower School, Creative Movement and Ballet are special subjects. 


The Louise T. Archer Artist-in-Residence program brings an artist to campus each year to work with students of all ages. This year's artist was Seth Ruggles Hiler who paints portrait series which reveal the character and identity of subjects, and also paints the light and composition of nature and the American landscape. He teaches portraiture at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and is an Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at Bard High School Early College in Long Island City, Queens.

Throughout my experience at St. Mary's, I have truly been able to embrace myself and my strengths.


Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center

The on-campus Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center offers creative programming that features a rich variety of internationally renowned artists, dancers, and musicians. 

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Studio Art (Honors I & II)
Photography I & II
Portfolio Prep I & II
Chamber Ensemble
Concert Choir
Wind Ensemble
Fundamentals of Acting
Art History (Honors & AP)
Music History
Humanities I & II
Power of Black Music in America


St. Mary's drama department stages four musical and theatrical productions every year, including one in Lower School, one in Middle School, and both a musical and a play in Upper School. Recent productions include 101 Dalmatian Kids, Mary Poppins, Matilda, and A Midsummer Night's DreamWhether new to the stage or a veteran actress, all students have a role in making memorable theater productions, from performing to assistant directing, set design and construction, lighting and sound. 



Our youngest students explore movement and music daily, and music is an integral part of the Lower School curriculum. In Middle School, girls choose instrumental or voice performance, while Upper School students branch out in their pursuit of music through performing arts electives, such as Concert Choir, Chamber Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. Over half of the students in Upper School participate in music. 



The Early Childhood and Lower School pre-ballet/ballet program at St. Mary’s benefits our girls as students, athletes, artists, and as teammates. Our 2 and 3-year-olds enjoy pre-ballet every week while every student in first, second, and third grade takes ballet once a week. Middle School Ensemble is a multi-discipline fine arts program for eighth graders focusing on the creative process.  Through solo and group work in dance, drama, art, and filmmaking, students develop an awareness of the myriad of choices available to a creator and how different choices impact the clarity and success of a project.

Studio Art

Our visual arts program enables every student to experience success in the creative process while fostering the intellectual skills of observation, critical thinking, inquiry, and problem solving. To that end, our teaching method emphasizes active participation and experiential learning, providing an atmosphere for open-ended responses, reflection, collaboration, improvisation, and the application of the principles and elements of art within a meaningful context.


“My years at St. Mary’s gave me many things: a stellar academic grounding especially in writing, a space to explore the challenges of leadership roles, and most of all a sense of deep companionship and community with my fellow students.”
Maysey Craddock ’89