Our Visual Arts program provides students with opportunities to experience a wide range of art media. Students learn the necessary skills and techniques to freely handle these art media, while our open-ended lessons leave room for students to explore, discover, reflect, and innovate – all of which are essential to our students’ living in the visual age.
Additionally, with corresponding art-history education, students learn to value diverse cultures and perspectives, which is important in our global society. In our Art and Technology program, students learn creative strategies, acquire critical-thinking skills, and achieve technical competence by creating various forms of art using iPads and laptops. In each grade, new techniques are presented as prior skills are reinforced and strengthened.
Visual Arts by Grade
The Kindergarteners travel back in time across ancient civilizations as we piece together our definition of art and its significance in contemporary society. We travel from the caves of Lascaux to the gardens of Babylon, Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and we go farther East and visit China, Japan, and Korea!
Each month, the students visit a different place to learn about the artifacts and how they came to be, as well as what they can tell us about how people lived. They make their own versions of treasures and landmarks, learn about how an environment impacts the ways people make artwork, and describe their experience.
At the end of each unit of lessons, we hold monthly art history receptions, where students become immersed in the culture/period they have been studying by cooking, dancing, and playing fun games, while we review the key terms and techniques covered.
For the technology component, they will be learning how to sketch a landmark using iPads.
The 1st Graders deepen their understanding of art history with a specific study of artists from various cultures and periods. They not only learn about the artists, but also to reflect on their lives and apply these reflections to their artwork.
For example, they study Vincent Van Gogh’s "Bedroom in Arles’" Impressionistic painting, and then make their own bedroom diorama in a shoebox. Students also apply Impressionistic brush strokes to create a bedroom painting depicting their dioramas. They also learn about the famous architect, Antonio Gaudi, and design and sculpt model architecture featuring free forms and colorful mosaics.
For the technology component, they create a GIF animation using photos of their 2D drawings.
The 2nd Grade art program includes a collaboration with one of our Performing Arts Specialist, who is a puppeteer. Students independently create characters, and then write scripts and build sets based on their characters.
They also continue with their art history journey as they learn about Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry. Second Grade students learn how to create a blueprint and then construct their dream house using cardboard. They also study the sculptor Alberto Giacometti, along with human movements using armature wire.
For the technology component, they create a Flipbook animation using Flipbookit app.
The 3rd Graders work on designing a community park. Through this project, students learn about civil engagement by creating a park that everyone can enjoy. They also study art movements such as Dada and Pop Art. For the Pop Art movement, they study Andy Warhol and Claus Oldenburg. They also create oversized food sculptures of their favorite food in groups using cardboard boxes and recycled paper.
For the technology component, they will be working on 3-minute Claymation movies.
The 4th Graders work on a superhero project. The art project is tied to social studies lessons aimed at enabling students to express their own thoughts and ideas and to develop critical-thinking skills. Our students discuss various social problems and then choose one issue about which they feel strongly. They design a hero, who can creatively solve this social problem with their superpower. This is a paper mache project in which they learn to conceptualize and construct a human figure and design fun costumes.
For the technology component, they learn how to use Photoshop to manipulate existing photos and create an illusion.
The 5th Graders focus on analyzing various artists’ work and gain an understanding of their impact on 21st-century society. Students look at the American artist, Edward Hopper, and his influential painting, "Nighthawks." They discuss the style and historical context of the painting before making their own Hopper-inspired scene. Students then create a contemporary "Nighthawks" drawing to express their experience in American society.
For the technology component, they deepen their knowledge of Photoshop and use it to manipulate existing photos and create an illusion.
The 6th Graders learn about various contemporary artists and find an art style with which they resonate. Students then create and curate their own miniature art gallery in this style, as well as learn to critique each other’s artwork. Students also refine their technical skills as they learn two-point perspective and value drawings. Additionally, they also work on digital photography projects and learn to edit their photos and compile them into a photo album.
For the technology component, they learn how make a movie on iMovie and interview our students to create short movies for our annual Art Show.