Preschool to Third Grade
The preschool through Lower School Visual Art program at CAIS is a child-centered and developmental approach. Students engage in hands on exploration with art materials and are also encouraged to represent subject matter that expresses their own life experiences and interests. To support this process, students view and discuss work from a diverse selection of time periods and artistic traditions. Students use materials and techniques that mirror both traditional and contemporary art practice. Students work independently as well as in groups to collaboratively produce art work.
Fourth and Fifth Grade
In the higher grades of lower school, students become visually literate and apply the language of art to their understanding of the discipline, and explore opportunities for visual communication and personal expression. As with learning any new language and skill set, students build upon the foundation from preschool to third grade studio art and expand their knowledge of terms and techniques.
During these developmental years, fourth and fifth grade students work from their memories, observations of their immediate environments and their imaginations. They relate their ideas to specific art terms such as the elements of art and principles of design, and begin communicating connections. A student working on a project inspired by nature might be asked where, or on what they have noticed patterns. Creative and critical thinking engages students and asks them to answer the question “why?”. Students continue to develop the fine motor skills required for handling tools more effectively. They are exposed to and experiment with a range of supplies from hammer and nail to a variety of art brushes in order to discriminate about which tools will serve their intended outcome. In preparation for Middle School the fifth graders are encouraged to be inquisitive and become more independent with their decision making. Constant reflection and brainstorming activities remind them that the work can evolve and adapt.
The Middle School Visual Art program centers around the student as a developing artist. Students are encouraged to explore traditional and contemporary art making techniques in two and three-dimensional media. With an emphasis on studio production, various contemporary art making methods are introduced to facilitate personal expression. Students are challenged and supported to think critically, to problem solve, and communicate effectively.