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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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Art

Since the beginning of civilization, people have created visual artifacts to enhance their surroundings and communicate ideas. People of all cultures have used the visual arts to record, reflect and expand upon life. Historical events, such as battles, plagues and celebrations are depicted in paintings and memorials. The intangibles of life, such as dreams, religion, and aesthetics, are captured through the visual arts as well. Consequently, any visual artwork, when examined in the context in which it was created, provides the perspective viewer with a lens into another time, place or mind.

The visual arts range from drawing, painting, sculpture, and print making, to landscaping, film, video, and folk arts. Aspects of the visual arts are part of our daily life and are evident in architecture, advertisement, product design, and city planning. Design elements appear in what we drive, wear, see and use. The world is filled with visual stimuli that the mind is required to process and interpret regularly; knowledge of the visual arts is necessary to understand the design-oriented environment of the twenty-first century. Therefore, the framework in visual arts provides for sequential learning in creating art and a broad understanding of the influence of design within the environment.

Studies in the visual arts enable students to experience distinct ways of thinking, communicating, reasoning and investigating. The visual arts, as with all the arts disciplines, have a unique symbol system. Additionally, participation in making visual art allows students to learn spatially and kinesthetically. Howard Gardner, educational researcher, has defined these different ways of knowing as distinct and separate intelligences. The arts also serve as a vehicle for differentiated learning. Much research is devoted to validating the theory that learning in these modes will increase students’ ability to develop life skills, use varied approaches to problem solving, collaborate with others and synthesize ideas. The K-5 curriculum is designed to facilitate integrated arts experiences. These give students the opportunity to learn using multiple intelligences.

The framework in visual arts includes curriculum standards and grade expectations to guide Rivendell educators and provide students with visual art experiences in investigating, making art, and critiquing their own works and the works of others. It is designed sequentially and provides cognitive links with other disciplines throughout. The framework begins with enthusiastic exploration of materials and processes. It progresses through developing imagination and individual expression, and culminates with sophisticated inquiry into the aesthetic qualities of both historical works and student created pieces. Achievement of these standards will prepare students for adult lives that are enriched by an increased capacity for interpreting human experience.

Contact: Jennifer Ellis (Academy) and Carole Bando (elementary)