The arts are an integral part of a well-rounded education. At Manhattan East, all sixth grade students take required art, while seventh and eigth graders may also participate in the visual arts as part of their "arts focus." Students explore basic elements of art (color, line, shape, and form) and art styles such as realism, cubism, art deco, and surrealism. Students are encouraged to incorporate their own experiences, interests, and backgrounds in to their artwork.
Art focus is where interested students can develop a portfolio for auditions to one of the city’s high schools for visual art. Students will be exposed to a wide range of artistic styles and media in the visual arts. Opportunities will also be available to pursue individual interests, styles, and media. Art focus classes are double periods and meet twice a week.