Art education allows students the opportunity to explore their creativity and visual expression while they develop artistic self-confidence and self esteem. Each lesson includes an art history component and most units are designed to extend or connect to the core curriculum. The integration of subjects helps students make connections and see the interrelatedness of disciplines. Although the artists chosen for study connect to the core curriculum, there is an attempt to feature a variety of different points of view that include: women artists, artists of color, folk art, indigenous art, living artists as well as the more well known artists. There is a wide array of materials exploration to help students identify areas of affinity. We use the elements and principles of design as a means to develop the language needed to discuss, understand and analyze works of art. We focus on skill building and technique in a variety of modes of expression. Units focus on observational drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, assemblage, sculpting, site-specific installation, recycled art and earth art. Presenting young artists with a plethora of modalities creates a broad foundation from which they can make artistic choices.
Student work is exhibited in the hallway of our main building and changes monthly. Exhibiting and appreciating art is as important to the visual arts as the making of art. The exhibitions give a sense of completion to the units and gives students a sense of pride and appreciation for each other’s work. We also have an annual art night exhibit that is of a larger scale and invites families to an “opening” exhibit and art-making night. This is designed to create community and a sense of accomplishment for our students.
The guiding questions and areas of understanding include the following:
- To understand that art has different roles according to the time, place and belief systems of the people to which it belongs.
- To answer the question “what is art?” for ourselves.
- What role does art play in your life?
- Where do artists find their source of inspiration?
- How does art contribute to the way you see/understand the world?
- What factors contribute to the evolution of style or aesthetic?
- Why do artists create?
- How do artists overcome adversity?
- How can art-making enhance your quality of life?
Pequenos and Grandes students have art every other week for 30 minutes.
Students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade have art twice a week for 45 minutes.
Grades 4-6th have art once a week for 60 minutes.