This is the first year that students go in groups to the art room to enrich the work created in the classroom. Through children’s literature, viewing art, and learning about artists, Kindergarten students are given a supportive environment to discover new ways of creating, exploring mediums and gaining skills to apply to all of their work. Each student keeps a sketchbook throughout the year and participates in the whole school Artist Study.* Mediums include pencil, color pencil, crayon, watercolor, collage, tempera paint and clay.
The elementary art curriculum begins with the exploration of mediums. Students are presented with materials and the best ways to use and care for them. Some art projects are connected to themes in the regular classroom. Others spring from learning about various artists. Each student keeps a sketchbook throughout the year and participates in the whole school Artist Study.* Mediums include pencil, color pencil, crayon, watercolor, tempera paint, clay (using the kiln*), printing ink and collage.
During these elementary years, students explore the question “What is art?” Students learn about the diverse world of the visual arts from architecture to automobile design. There is an emphasis on sculpture and thinking in three dimensions. Working with a classroom time line, students work towards a better understanding of connections throughout art history. Many of the projects are collaborative class community builders. Each student keeps a sketchbook throughout the year and participates in the whole school Artist Study.* Mediums include oil pastel, chalk pastel, pencil, marker, watercolor paint, Model Magic, clay (which is fired in our kiln*) and papier mache.
During these early years of middle school, there is an emphasis on the elements of art and principals of design. The activities center on building students' confidence in making art. During these years students often make the decision that they are an artist or not. The projects are centered on ways to build confidence in the fact that all people can make art. To support this concept, students learn about artists that have worked in many different ways and how the community felt about their art at that time in history. Projects connect to the history and world cultures curriculum. Each student keeps a sketchbook throughout the year and participates in the whole school Artist Study.* Mediums include oil pastel, chalk pastel, pencil, marker, watercolor paint, Model Magic, clay (which is fired in the kiln*) and paper mache.
During these years of middle school students are encouraged to find their own artistic voice. Students work towards expanding their knowledge and use of terms to both view art and have conversations about what they see. Students continue learning about the history of art and the various styles of art as well as learning more specifically about historically important artists and contemporary artists. Students work from a time line to make connections to historical events, technological advances, and changes in art. Each student keeps a sketchbook throughout the year and participates in the whole school Artist Study.* Elements and mediums covered are self-portraits, perspective, digital animation, still-life drawing, painting and clay sculpture, which is fired in the kiln*.
The whole school Artist Study begins each January and continues through March. Each year an artist is chosen and students throughout the school learn about the artist, their life, view examples of their art and create art in the spirit of the artist. Artists we have studied in the past include Isaiah Zagar, Faith Ringgold, Henry Mercer, Mary Cassatt, Jim Henson, and more. The students' work is displayed in a gallery show throughout the school celebrating National Youth Arts Month in March.
At the Bid, Sip & Celebrate 2015, parents and supporters of Walden pledged the money to purchase a kiln for Walden's art program. Since its addition, the students have produced sculptures which are fired (under the supervision of Art Teacher Heather McAndrews) and glazed. Many special projects have also been produced, including those you see for auction at following Bid, Sip & Celebrate events.
Creating Community Connections
Each year we invite local artists, parents and caregivers to bring in their talents to share. Whether it be photography, interior design, coin collecting, dollhouse building, cartooning or knitting, all mediums are welcome. Students gain an understanding of the importance of the arts in both our community and the world. We take opportunities for our students to exhibit their work outside of the school building and to participate in charitable events where art can help to change lives in our community.