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Art and Design is a vibrant school that offers hands-on training in commercial and digital arts including animation, architecture, cartooning, fashion, film, graphic design, illustration and photography. Students participate in paid internships in the industry and earn professional certifications in a range of skills, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, and AutoCad to name a few. The school, which attracts diverse students from across the city, offers strong academics including advanced and college level courses as well as support for students needing extra help.


Founded in 1936, Art and Design counts many prominent figures among its alumni including Tony Bennett, Harvey Fierstein, Calvin Klein, Art Spielgelman, Marc Jacobs, and Devon Rodriguez. Many of its teachers are working artists and the school's industry partners and network of loyal alumni provide a steady stream of internships and employment opportunities for students and graduates.


Walk into any of the art classes and you'll see talented and engaged students in action. We observed fashion students designing their ready-to-wear lines inspired by different periods in history. Illustration students refined digital collages inspired by the Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. In a film class, students offered a scene-by-scene critique of a classmate's work.


Writing, oral presentations and technology are constants in all arts classes. Students craft artist statements and share their work and research with peers. The school's numerous computer labs are full each period with students crafting and editing work as well as converting their creations into digital form, an essential skill that artists need to market their work.


In academic classes there's a mix of teaching styles. Group work dominates in some, while teacher-directed lessons are the norm elsewhere. Regardless of the class structure, teachers build in time for student discussion and reflection.


English and history classes are scheduled back-to-back so teachers can coordinate lessons between the two subjects. For instance, while 11th-graders are reading The Crucible in their English class (The Crucible is a play about the Salem witch trials that's an allegory about McCarthyism) they're studying McCarthyism in their United States history class.


Qualifying students may take courses at Hunter College and there's an assortment of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. For an arts-focused school, there's a nice range of science offerings. In addition to traditional Regents courses in earth science, living environment, chemistry and physics there are elective courses in forensics as well as several AP options.

Students may study Spanish or French for up to two years.  


Extra-curricular activities abound in the arts and other areas. In addition to sports teams, there are a range of clubs. @AnDCreates, a student-run advertising agency, designs comprehensive and impactful digital marketing campaigns, with an emphasis on social justice and environmental sustainability. Most recently, Art & Design HS has become home to CTE’s Summer Design Institute, in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO Max Pa’Lante, opening its doors to CTE and Non-CTE design high school students from across NYC. 


Tutoring is offered after school and there's a mentoring program for students struggling in their classes or with feeling comfortable at school. AP and SAT prep classes are offered on Saturdays.


Maximillian Re-Sugiura, a former assistant principal of High School for Environmental Studies became principal in August 2019 after Manuel Ureña left to become principal of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis High School.


Art and Design is housed on six floors of a contemporary building in midtown Manhattan that it shares with PS 59. There's a myriad of well-equipped art studios and academic classrooms, an expansive gymnasium, a fitness room equipped with cardio and weight-training equipment, and a bright and airy cafeteria adorned with a stained glass mural designed by Art Spiegelman.

After graduation, some students get jobs in the art industry, but many choose to attend art schools such as Cooper Union, Parsons, Pratt, Rhode Island School of Design as well as CUNY and SUNY schools and private institutions.  (Laura Zingmond, Inside Schools)

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