It is necessary for art students to learn skills and techniques associated with various media, so they can begin the process of recognizing and building individual “signatures”. If students can build a series of related skills with various media, at the same time focusing on the close observation of the composition, they will be less afraid to attempt a project or to succeed at it. Therefore, art activities are introduced sequentially. The overall objectives are to stimulate awareness of the environment, give form and substance to ideas, and promote intellectual growth.
Throughout the grades high quality art materials not usually available at these levels are used. Students use a variety of materials to investigate texture and shape, and study lighting effects. Each class session includes viewing and discussion of appropriate works by artists representing the traditional Western models as well as the models from the cultural groups we serve. Slides, prints, and field trips to view museum works at the Smithsonian or local galleries help students grasp the historical concepts and contexts which current art work evolves. Students become adept at critiquing one another’s works in the working vocabulary of the artist, and learn to examine their own works in the same light.