At Govs, everyone has the opportunity to be an artist. The arts are woven into every aspect of our students’ experience. 

It all begins with our Introduction to Fine Arts course in ninth grade, when every student takes two performing arts and two visual arts courses and start to see where they shine, or maybe even discover a new passion. Students continue their creative interests in classes during the academic day and can choose to participate in drama, art, music, technical theater, or dance as their Afternoon Program. 

Belle Struck '94

Studio Art Teacher

The arts enrich the Govs experience through open investigation, acceptable risk and failure, critical thinking, and self-expression. 

Belle Struck is a working painter and printmaker, and has exhibited works in Boston, Europe, and the North Shore. A 1994 graduate of the Academy, she returned to Byfield in 2006 to teach visual art and media classes. She enjoys the multiple roles that she plays on-campus: teacher, confidant, daughter, mother, rebel, consensus builder, dissenter, cheerleader, gardener, mentor, boss, and friend.

Govs student artists gain the courage and confidence not just to make work that matters to them but to show that work to the world. Surrounded by friends, dorm parents, coaches, and advisors, they step onto the stage, throw a lump of clay, or spin on the dance floor. They give and take, critique, but most importantly, they have fun. 

Our students are encouraged and mentored by arts teachers who are working artists themselvespassionate about sharing their love of their craft with their students. 

Most of our students are involved in the artswhether that means taking AP Studio Art, playing the piano in Friday Morning Meeting band, running the lighting for Fall Drama, or making a print during open studio on a Saturday night.


Built in 2001, our performing arts center was dedicated in 2012 to former Headmaster Valleau Wilkie (1959-1972) in recognition of his great effort and success at bringing the arts to the Academy. The Wilkie Center features:

  • 490-seat Theodore G. Bergmann theater, with professional sound and lighting systems

  • Peter R. Remis Lobby with art gallery

  • Black box theater/dance studio

  • Eight private practice rooms

  • Ensemble rehearsal room

  • Fifteen pianos including five Steinway grand pianos

  • Dressing rooms and green room 

  • Carpentry shop

  • Costume and prop shop

  • Electronic music studio with 32-track digital audio recording capability


Built in 1985, our visual arts center honors the legacy of Edgar Kaiser '61. The Kaiser Visual Arts Center features:

  • Carl Youngman Art Gallery

  • Fully-equipped art studio with painting and printmaking equipment

  • 3-D Printer

  • Photography classroom with a digital studio and darkroom with eleven enlargers

  • Digital video editing lab 

  • Ceramics studio with a state-of-the-art industrial Bailey gas kiln, twelve electric wheels, a Raku kiln, and two electric kilns.

Meet the Faculty

Currie Huntington

Currie Huntington

Arts Department Chair; Director of Choral Music
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