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?