The K-12 art experience is an exciting part of the school day for all of our students. Initially it is a time for introduction and experimentation with several art mediums. The elements of art are introduced (line, shape, form, color, pattern, texture, and space) in the lower grades and students are exposed to various art and artists. Class periods include art production, art history and art appreciation. A “hands-on’ experiential instructional approach is widely used to produce art and to facilitate students’ aesthetic awareness.
As our students move up grades they continue to explore the elements of art with a deeper emphasis on skills and techniques. New tools and materials are introduced while our children begin to explore the realm of the abstract. Furthermore, personal expression is encouraged during observation and production of art. Students continue to expand a cultural (past, present, and future) awareness through the study of art history. From here development of unique aesthetic views is encouraged as is the process of critique that is introduced through self reflections and examination of works of others. Through developmentally appropriate hands-on activities, students develop confidence in their abilities to create art and to respond to art. Students develop skills of “looking,” increase knowledge of the elements of art, build self confidence, improve manipulative skills, and facilitate appropriate and responsible use of materials and equipment. In later grades students are encouraged to “use what they know” in relation to the elements of art and principles of design. Concentration is placed on understanding and applying media, decision making, technique and process. Emphasis is also placed on understanding art in relation to history and other cultures. Students reflect upon and assess the characteristics and merits of their own work and the work of others continually in the later grades. Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines is also encouraged as students forward their appreciation and understanding of art.