Art Curriculum


flowerTeacher: Mrs. Marie Acurso, macurso@stclarepdx.org

Goals and Objectives
The goals in art education are: to foster the tremendous gift each child has within; to develop the ability of self-expression and communication through the use of the visual arts; to make decisions and choices; and to gain an appreciation of the aesthetic properties of art created by other artists and cultures.
 
Emphasis
The art program is developmental. Projects are accumulated throughout the year and saved in a student-made portfolio. Lessons are reintroduced each year, varying the subject and artists studied. There are varying levels of difficulty with each grade depending on the maturity and readiness of the class. Holiday art projects are included with younger grades. Lessons are integrated with other subjects. There is an annual art fair. The students select their three favorite pieces for consultation with me (Mrs. Acurso) and exhibit at the annual art fair. The pieces are mounted and labeled. The community is invited to view the exhibit. Students self-evaluate and are encouraged to enjoy the process.

The art program consists of three major study areas: Appreciating the Visual Arts, The Elements of Art, and The Principles of Design. These are taught in relationship to the Language of Art, Art Criticism, Aesthetic Judgment, Art History and Art Production.
 
Appreciating the Visual Arts
In order to appreciate the visual arts, one needs to know the language of art. The Language of Art consists of the elements and principles of design and the media used. Instruction on the art elements includes lessons on line, shape, texture, shape, form, space, and color. Instruction on the principles of design includes lessons on rhythm, movement, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and unity. It is through mastery and experimentation with the Language of Art that students learn to share their unique voice through the visual arts.

Art Criticism and aesthetic judgment consists of discussing subject and content. The students learn to distinguish between various subjects such as still life, landscape, portraits, and abstractions. The content of a piece is discussed in terms of what ideas or moods the work conjures up due to elements of art and principles of design. The meaning of events and ideas from different cultures and periods are also discussed to introduce art history into the learning process. The students do written critiques at the end of the school year during the Art Fair. They discuss works in relationship to production projects during the year.

Art Production is an important part of St. Clare’s art program and is meant to be enjoyed. While working on a project, students are given choices in appropriate areas to encourage originality. Technique and media proficiency, such as the use of materials, is meant to be experiential and skill will improve over the eight years. Both craftsmanship and artistic expression are praised. Works are signed, titled when appropriate, and mounted to be displayed around the school. Most activities are introduced through sequential steps, which might include a slide show of a major artist or time period and instruction on art elements. Students are encouraged to make discoveries. Time is available for them to analyze problems and make practice sketches. Several attempts at solutions are encouraged as is discovering and using one’s own voice to communicate through the visual arts. . As mentioned above there is an annual Art Fair where everyone has several successful works on display.