Art is a unique and powerful form of expression. It empowers us with a means to communicate our thoughts, ideas, dreams, hopes and fears when we are unable to articulate them in any other way. Art is an essential component of any curriculum because students, just like adults, desperately need a time and a space to express what is inside of them and to experience the sheer joy of making a mark.
Our primary focus in art class is to create works of art. In order to create, we learn about art materials and techniques. We also learn about, consider and discuss art history and specific styles and works of art from around the world. We connect our knowledge in the arts to the core curriculum, such as math, science and language arts. We engage in creativity and individual expression, finding personal solutions and unique ways to represent ideas and forms. We learn to read an image and process it and to discuss images and artworks intelligently and thoughtfully.
My approach to teaching art is to treat students like intelligent, creative, capable budding artists, each with unique ideas, feelings and preferences. I aim for students to have 100% ownership of their work, which means we avoid pre-made shapes, templates and tracing or exact copying. We do use visual references as well as our imaginations to create an image. We also are committed to creating personally meaningful art, which means that each student's artwork will be unique and at times very different from each other. We also understand that neatness and finished-ness is a goal in our finished product, we are willing to take risks,which may result in a less tidy artwork. We believe that the process of creating is ultimately more important that the product.