Visual Art

A comprehensive visual art education program is an essential component of our students’ growth as educated, responsive, and creative thinkers.  Visual art education provides a meaningful foundation for lifelong learning.  Visual Art is a CORE subject, as designated in the No Child Left Behind Act, and as such, should be valued for fundamental literacy goals presented in a sequential, developmental, process-oriented Visual art program.

I. Visual Art represents the most telling imprint of any civilization, serving as a record of cultural history, expression, and belief.  Visual art education instills an appreciation for the arts as a vehicle for the transmission of cultural heritage.  It develops in the students an understanding and appreciation for their role as caretakers of that heritage. Visual art education leads students to an   understanding of the role of art in the global community and to communities past and present

II. Visual art is a basic symbol system by which people communicate, express and acquire understanding.  While many disciplines are concerned with convergent thinking, visual art encourages innovation and risk taking, stressing that there is not one solution, but many.  Perceiving, creative thinking, problem solving, and technical proficiency are presented through visual art education programs.  Visual art education develops the students’ ability to fully explore ideas and to communicate through the arts.

III. Visual art represents a means of understanding and interacting with the world through cognitive and sensory experiences.  Visual art experiences add enrichment to everyday life and help foster an appreciation for beauty and order in natural and manufactured objects and designs.  Visual art education is essential in the diverse society in which we live, as it enables students to respond to and express ideas, to perceive aesthetic relationships, to interpret meanings, and to develop personal standards of appreciation within all of the visual symbols surrounding the individual in society.  Visual art education experiences teach students to respond intelligently to forms of visual culture.

IV. Visual art embodies the deepest expressions of humanity and is therefore basic to the quality of human existence.  Visual art education is an essential part of the education of every child.  The study of art provides students with differentiated learning experiences that promote the advanced cognitive processes of perceiving, responding, judging, and developing informed personal preferences. Visual art education helps students understand why art is valued.

V. Visual art is connected to the social, ethnic, political, spiritual, moral, environmental, and technological issues of diverse periods and times.  Visual art education encourages students to consider a variety of perspectives and to formulate solutions based on disciplines outside the arts.  Through exploration of varied media and art forms, transferable competencies are developed.  Visual           art education builds an understanding of relationships that connect all fields of study.  Visual art education leads students to recognize the reciprocal influence of art to other disciplines.

Creating works of art engages students in meaningful and differentiated learning experiences.  However, students need more than a wide range of media, an exposure to varied art forms, and the opportunity to build technical and technological skills.  A comprehensive visual art education program requires the guidance of perceptive visual art educators who will coordinate and provide sequential and developmentally appropriate learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.  The students require sufficient time and opportunity to be immersed in a visual art program, so as to appreciate the connection between visual art and other educational, historical, personal, and social contexts.  The students also require adequate and appropriate materials, instructional spaces that support and encourage inquiry, creative processes, exploration of art related careers and relationship of visual arts to other careers.

Content Standards
Standard I:        Historical, Cultural, and Social Contexts

Art education experiences lead students to an understanding of the role of art in people’s lives in which they come to appreciate the artistic achievements of their own and other societies, past and present.
  • Students understand the impact of visual art on the history, culture, and society from which it emanates.
  • They understand the cultural, social, and political forces that, in turn, shape visual art communication and expression.
  • Students identify the significant contributions of visual artists to cultural heritage.
  • They analyze the historical, cultural, social, and political contexts that influence the function and role of visual art in the lives of people.

Standard II:  Creative Expression and Communication

Art education experiences lead students to an ability to communicate through visual art, in which they develop competencies in perceiving, creative thinking, qualitative problem solving, and technical proficiency.

  • Students create art works that demonstrate understanding of materials, processes, tools, media, techniques, and available technology.
  • They understand how to use art elements, principles, and images communicate their ideas in a variety of visual forms.

Standard III:  Analyzing and Responding

Art education experiences lead students to an ability to respond to the arts, in which they perceive aesthetic relationships, interpret meanings, and judge significance.

  • Students identify and discriminate themes, media, subject matter, and formal technical and expressive aspects in works of art.
  • They understand and use the vocabulary of art criticism to describe visual features, analyze relationships and interpret meanings in works of art.
  • Students make judgments about the quality of works of art using the appropriate criteria.

Standard IV:  Valuing the Arts / Aesthetic Reflection

Art education experiences lead to an understanding of why people value art in which they formulate their own personal philosophies of the arts.

  • Students understand why people value visual art.
  • They present their beliefs about the nature and significance of selected artworks and the reasons for holding these beliefs.
  • Students reflect on and respect diverse points of view about artworks and artifacts.
  • Students will reflect on the nature and meaning of art from varied philosophical points of view.

Standard V:  Connections, Relationships, and Applications

Art education experiences lead students to recognize the reciprocal influence of the arts and social, ethnic, political, spiritual, moral, environmental, and technological issues in diverse periods and times.

  • Students connect and apply their learning of visual art to the study of other art areas and disciplines outside of arts.
  • They understand relationships between and among concepts and ideas that are common across subjects in the curriculum.
  • Students recognize the importance of lifelong learning and experience in visual art.
Curriculum Outlines

Curriculum Activities by Grade Level

  • Primary School – Grades K – 2
  • Elementary School – Grades 3 – 5
  • Middle School – Grades 6 – 8
  • High School – Grades 9 – 12

Content Summaries by Grade Level

  • Primary School – Grades K – 2
  • Elementary School – Grades 3 – 5
  • Middle School – Grades 6 – 8
  • High School – Grades 9 – 12