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Visual Arts

Art classes are part of each student’s course load for each year of the middle school. It is a mandatory, non-tracked class.

The art course at the middle school is focused on learning and applying the six elements of art and the seven principles of design. Effective application of these basic elements of artistic design is foundational in each unit covered. Students gain self-confidence through the development of fundamental artistic skills and reflection on their progress in personal Developmental Workbooks. During this process, students understand more about the role of the visual arts in different cultures and times in human history. Creativity in solving design problems is encouraged as students develop risk taking and multiple answer solutions. Through direct involvement in artistic creation and reflection on their own artwork and the work of peers, students will gain a lifelong personal enjoyment and appreciation of the artistic process.

The art program is developed around the three principles of communication, holistic learning, and global awareness.

The art classes are a chance for students to explore their identities and their relation to the world around them. Through art creation and performance, students think about and express their likes, dislikes, preferences, beliefs, and even purposes in life. Students create art for themselves and their community, learning to collaborate and to work independently. We believe that students, even at a young age, have had enough life experiences to have something important communicate through their art. Emphasis is put on looking at the art around our globe and building tolerance and understanding for others.

Art students at Gilkey International Middle School develop abilities in risk-taking by expressing themselves through their art. Students learn what it means to be open-minded by thinking about art from various cultures and time periods and reflecting on why people make art. Students become inquirers and critical thinkers by analyzing and coming up with their own reasons for defining what makes good art. Students learn how to give caring and productive feedback during critique sessions.

Aims and objectives

In order for students to

  • Discover artistic abilities, talents and enjoy the process of artistic creation
  • Experience curiosity, interest, and personal satisfaction in the creative process
  • Explore the process of artistic creation utilizing multiple answer thinking
  • Develop fundamental artistic skills required in the visual arts
  • Understand and be able to use the language and principles of artistic design
  • Acquire the critical thinking skills require to appreciate and evaluate their own art and the work of peers
  • Create artistic work students are proud of and want to share with others
  • Become increasingly aware of the role of the visual arts in culture and the significance of art in daily life

They will learn how to

  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to utilize the foundational elements of artistic design in the process of artistic creation
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, make artistic decisions, and complete creative solutions to visual problems
  • Understand the language of artistic critique and demonstrate the ability to reflect and evaluate their own art work. Use group discussion and the feedback of others to deepen artistic self awareness and set goals for future growth
  • Contribute to a positive working environment by respecting the creative process, their own art work and the work of others.

Methodology: Students are introduced to new concepts though the presentation of an artistic problem or exploration. A short lecture/class discussion highlights new language, skills and project requirements. Students demonstrate artistic understanding as they plan, create and evaluate visual arts projects, reflect on the process in Developmental Workbooks and increasingly participate in self and peer feedback of completed work. Games and short quizzes are used to solidify knowledge of art terminology, art history and media techniques.

Assessment: At the Gilkey International Middle School teachers commit to a variety of summative assessments tasks clearly tied to learning objectives, skills and criteria. Before an assessment or along with it, teachers will hand out clearly described tasks and criteria for assessment. All units of work include formative assessments leading to the summative piece.