Early Childhood Art
The emphasis in Early Childhood Art is on experiences and developing skills. Working with classroom teachers, experiences are created for the students to experiment with materials, such as scissors, glue, paint, clay, glitter paper and crayons. We also define color and shape (circle, square, triangle, rectangle), as reinforcement for concepts presented in the classrooms. These art room experiences are also woven around such skills as sharing materials and ideas as well as group building skills, all essential for early childhood students to develop. The Early Childhood Core Knowledge sequence is used as a guide for class content.
Literature is also incorporated with each lesson, particularly with the younger children. Beginning with a short picture book, allows the students to participate and ultimately enjoy the experience more, as well as expose the students to more literature and art works in the real world. As is age appropriate all activities are broken into steps for the students. First we color a picture then we paint over the crayon and the children tend to stay with the task much longer and develop another skill. By putting the emphasis on experience and participation all students have a more enriching experience in the class than if the emphasis were on the final piece of work.
The emphasis in the elementary grades for art is on experiences and developing skills while looking at known artists and the qualities that make their works unique. Working with classroom teachers, experiences are created for the students to experiment with color, texture, line, in two and three-dimensional formats. We define colors and their relationships as well as their effects on the viewer. All experiences are woven around the extremely important skills of sharing ideas and discoveries as well as cooperation and respect for each other’s individual style and thoughts.
We often have an opportunity to view an appropriate video on a particular artist as a jumping off point for their works. Every attempt is made, particularly with the upper grades to leave the assignment open-ended allowing them to interpret the assignment for themselves and express their interests while meeting the emphasis of the assignment be it using complementary colors, or making a sculpture interesting while functional. By leaving the assignment open ended the students tend to be very willing to step outside the box and really try to make it their own discoveries.
Middle School Art
In Middle School, art instruction continues in drawing, painting and three-dimensional projects. Students will produce a number of sophisticated works in a variety of media. Two class periods a week are dedicated to the visual arts. Student art work is frequently on display in the school and the school holds an art show in the spring.