Visual Arts

Art teacher, Laura Pereira, demonstrates a technique with paints

Students find art in so many places--both inside themselves and in their surroundings.

Inspiration often starts with small things, such as the green of a leaf, the texture of snake skin, or a feeling of joy. If we draw from these things, we can find complexity in unexpected places.

The process of making art is a true adventure in which we often discover parts of our world that otherwise may lay hidden. Through exploring materials and studying their surroundings, students gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world.





The visual art curriculum uses essential questions to guide learning through making art. While formal art history is not a part of the curriculum, students examine historical works of art from a variety of time periods and cultures using guiding questions such as:

  • How do I connect to this piece?
  • Am I reflected in this piece?
  • Does this piece bring up memories, emotions, or stories in my life?
  • How can others connect to this piece?
  • How are others reflected in this piece?
  • What memories, emotions, or stories might this bring up for others?
  • How and why was this piece created?
  • What story does this piece tell?
  • How do we put art into action?
  • How can you use the art making process to develop understanding?
  • How can you use art to communicate with others?

Lower school students also explore questions such as:

  • What do artists do?
  • How do artists use tools?
  • Why do artists make art?
  • Where do artists find inspiration?
  • What do artists and scientists have in common?
  • How do artists communicate narrative?
  • How do artists interpret their environments?
  • How do artists represent their world?
  • Where can I find sources of inspiration?
  • What can we learn by looking at art?
  • How can art help me see new things?
  • How can art help me understand multiple perspectives?
  • How can art help us understand ourselves?

In addition, middle school students explore:

  • How can I communicate ideas and feelings through visual means?
  • What is the connection between art and everyday life?
  • In what ways can art help me solve problems?
  • In what ways can art help me create meaning?
  • How can art help me see connections?
  • How do artists use symbols to represent ideas and feelings.
  • How can I use art-making and studio process to help me reflect on  experiences, ideas, and emotions?
  • How can an aesthetic lens and studio practice help me see new perspectives?
  • How can art help me understand myself and others?
  • What is the relationship between imagination and reality?
  • How can art help create a sense of place?
  • What purpose does art serve within communities?
  • How can art help create social change?