Visual Art (LS)

Kindergarten and Grade 4 meet twice weekly for 45 minutes; half class.
Grades 1–3 meet twice weekly for 45 minutes; whole class.

The lower school art program is studio based. Children express themselves creatively as they explore a variety of approaches to making art. They engage in drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, and sculpting activities. Elements of art and principles of design are integrated within each project to encourage visual literacy. Creative expression, experimentation, and exploration are encouraged. Students discuss their own work as well as that of various artists’ experiences, subject matters, and distinct styles.

Studio art is linked to the academic topics and themes studied in other classes where appropriate. Museum visits enhance the understanding and enjoyment of art: by fourth grade, students will have visited as many as 10 local museums and participated in virtual visits to museums outside our region.

Students begin to answer the questions “What do artists do?” and “How do artists think?” By exploring artists as varied as Mondrian, Alma Thomas, and Leonardo da Vinci, students learn about color, contrast, and composition. They have opportunities to experiment with different media.

First Grade
First graders study artists and their influences (for example, how Picasso was influenced by war and African masks). They use a variety of media as they explore color, form, contrast, color mixing, composition, line, shape, and scale, working from both observation and imagination.

Second Grade
Second grade artists experiment with a variety of media and learn about different art genres. Students begin to examine the intentional use of the elements of art and principles of design to achieve desired results. They create work based in folk art traditions, like those of the Ndebele women of South Africa; are influenced by the work of modern artists, such as Henri Matisse; and apply research to help accurately build three-dimensional forms.

Third Grade
Students create artwork inspired by their own experiences and begin to use such elements of art and principles of design as color, emphasis, line, and balance to creatively communicate personally meaningful ideas. Their studies of the concepts and techniques of modern artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paul Klee, and  Georgia O’Keeffe create additional support for their art-making.

Fourth Grade
Fourth grade artists create increasingly sophisticated works. They produce drawings and paintings that demonstrate their understanding of visual space and display an illusion of depth on a two-dimensional plane. They create mixed-media works that help them explore many different materials and processes. Their artwork is influenced by contemporary artists and illustrators as well as their own personal experiences, favorite pastimes, and cultural identity. Fourth graders also hone their observational drawing skills through a series of detailed still life drawings and paintings.


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