Visual Art Education at Beecher Road School is at the core of the educational experience for students in grades Pre-K-6. Art is a universal language that crosses all disciplines, culture and history. Art teachers as facilitators, provide the catalyst for
student learning, problem solving, and expression of the child’s unique creativity, interests, and emotions. It should also provide experiences which enable the child to use his/her talents to construct new information. The inventive spirit is an important attribute in the visual field where ideas form the work. Students learn to become critical observers of their environment and understand that art is an integral part of their everyday lives … the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the movies they see, the buildings they enter.
Students educated in art are able to invent, reflect and set quality standards for their artistic growth and development. They are able to articulate the meaning of their artwork and that of artists they have studied.
The collaborative, cooperative and visually stimulating atmosphere of the art classroom provides the opportunity to develop teamwork, self-esteem and a positive, inclusive atmosphere.
Art has always been an indicator of a civilization’s level of achievement. Through the study of visual art, we gain an understanding and appreciation for the history, values and contributions of many civilizations and cultures. The process of providing these experiences and transmitting a visual culture to future generations is both a legitimate role and obligation of our educational system.
In kindergarten, students will experience various media such as crayon, paint, clay and paper creations. We will learn to make observations about our environment that reflect shape, color, texture and scale. Puppets and masks will show that art-making is connected to drama and play. Children’s literature such as Eric Carle as well as works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and classical music will be used to initiate studio artworks.
At the first grade level, many introductory concepts in art will be reviewed, including primary and secondary colors, pattern and texture, and symmetry. Media which will be explored include pencil, markers, tempera, and watercolor. A few master artists that we will discuss include Rousseau, Matisse, Monet, and some American masters. We will practice manipulating paper by cutting, weaving, and construction. Students will have an opportunity to draw from observation and from their imagination.
In Grade 2, students will learn to discuss their own works, those of their peers, and selected masterpieces of several periods, including Leonardo da Vinci, Marc Chagall, Chinese scroll paintings, and German Expressionism. They will build an aesthetic vocabulary, and learn to work up an artwork from sketch to drawing to finished work. We will discuss and explore the function of art and design in many world cultures, including Native American nations and Africa. The practice of drawing and painting for fluency and self-expression will be a major goal.
The objectives are to develop and increase manipulative, conceptual, and creative thinking skills. Through practice, students will increase their ability to concentrate, to organize information, to see relationships, to compare and contrast, and to solve problems through age-appropriate work with a wide variety of materials both two and three-dimensionally. We are committed to instilling a sense of confidence in each child. They will gain confidence to take risks, to be inventive, playful, and spontaneous, and to trust their intuition and imagination; they will gain fluency in self-expression; they will develop a tolerance for complexity and ambiguity; they will learn to hone in on their perceptions and visual memory, to express original ideas in a personal style, to engage in evaluation without condemnation, and to exercise self-discipline, work toward good craftsmanship, attention to detail, and tenacity od purpose.
Drawing (Imaginative and Observational), Painting, Collage, Constructions, Sculpture, Mixed Media, Clay, Printmaking, Mural Making
Color, Line, Shape, Texture, Form Contrast, Structure, Rhythm
Artists and Art Movements Covered:
Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Janet Fish.
Fourth Graders are in the Realistic Stage of Art Development. Their control over materials is such that they can use tools effectively, and can solve many of their structural and design problems independently. Much of the year is spent on the art and culture of Native Americans. Their respect and use of the environment is stressed. Observation is the key word this year.
Materials and techniques: Variety of paints, tools, surfaces; wide variety of drawing tools: charcoal, conte, Ebony pencil, oil crayons, pastels, felt pens, inks, clay; Papers of various sizes and textures; Printmaking: object, relief, monoprints; Collage and sculpture materials: wire, cardboard, wood fibers, paper, clay.
Experiences: Self-Portraiture, Native American Portraits, Native American motifs to print patterns; Kachinas, Storytelling Dolls, Clay (The pinch method); Experiences emphasizing The Elements of Design; Imaginative Drawing; Observational Drawing (Use of pencil to create texture and volume) Salmon River Project; Realism; Abstraction; Illusion of Volume through drawing and painting. Vincent Van Gogh drawings and paintings.
Artists Covered: Vincent Van Gogh, James Prosek, Georgia O’Keeffe, Native American Art, Pablo Picasso, The Pop Art Movement.
Fifth grade students are fluent with most of the previously used art materials; the Fifth Grade Curriculum reaps the benefits of all of the learning that has taken place in earlier grades. Fifth graders are ready to think about composition and content, in more depth so as to tell their visual story.
The Fifth Graders work on a unit of study all year that will help them focus on looking at, thinking about, and responding to works of art. They have been introduced to Composition and The Elements of Design. All experiences focus on each of the design elements. Perspective is also taught. Thought is given to teach in an interdisciplinary way when possible. This means of organization prepares the children for our trip to The Yale Center for British Art which unites Social Studies and the study of British Imperialism, Language Arts the The Visual Arts.
Experiences: Self-Portraiture, Color Theory (Quilts of Gees Bend; Invention of Gumball Machine; Color as it relates to the seasons; Shape (Positive and Negative Space), Relief Sculpture, Analog Device; Texture (Clay Tile), Paper, Drawing, (Observational and Imaginative);Volume (Observational Drawing), Perspective ( Landscape Montage).
Artists Studied: Gees Bend Designers, David Hockney, Louise Nevelson, Jasper Johns, Robert Raushenberg, Henri Matisse, Wayne Thiebaud, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Indiana, George Stubbs, Richard Estes, Andy Warhol, Byron Kim, Pablo Picasso, Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Louis Kahn.
Reinforcement of skills continues. The focus is to maintain a high level of motivation and confidence, and continue to create a strong foundation in manipulating materials and organizing ideas. Connections between history, cultures, and art continue. Emphasis is also placed on the role of art is society. The importance of art in our lives whether it be architecture, industrial design, graphic design, landscape architecture, fashion and jewelry design, website design, along with painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking is a focus. Some projects are multifaceted, incorporating a variety of techniques and media such as painting, drawing, and sculpture; others target skills or concepts such as shape, pattern, contrast, color, and elements of composition. Focus is on The Head, The Figure, Fantasy, Abstraction, and Realism.
Portraiture and The Figure:
Children discover how artists represent the head and the human form in paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Both objective and non-objective works are used. They investigate the language of the body through activities exploring pose, gesture, and expression. Creation of a self-portrait and a collage background describing “Who I Am” begins each year. Proportion is presented.
Sabrina Ward Harrison is the Artist studied at this time.
Clay Head with expression (Roy Lichtenstein).
Chuck Close (study of proportion) and mathematics
Review of drawing skills and creating volume
Enlargement of master work
Music and Art: .Review of Color Theory
Painting to pieces composed for each season of the year by “Vivaldi ,Jackson Pollack and The Big Band; Georgia O’Keeffe
Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (Degas, VanGogh use of cropping); Digital Storytelling integration
The Role of The East influencing The West (Impressionists and Post-Impressionists)
Dragons (Interdisciplinary project with Social Studies)
Field trip to Yale Art Gallery
Picasso . cubism
Figure drawing : Proportion, gesture, contour, action
Fabric Design, Interior Design, Product Design.
Sculpture – Human figure
Chris Van Allsburg
The Sixth Grade is responsible for leaving works behind as permanent reminders of their class’ artistic expression.