Visual Art

Process of Discovery

The visual art curriculum promotes art as a process of discovery that focuses on the student developing both cognitive and artistic skills. Through concepts, content and skills, students communicate their feelings, ideas and beliefs.  Creative problem solving is encouraged at all grade levels.  Students use authentic processes and materials to promote a seriousness of purpose and a mastery of technique.  The study of art is presented in its cultural context, both historically and artistically.  From the earliest years, students are encouraged to critically analyze and evaluate the visual imagery they produce and that which they study.  The result is a student who can effectively communicate through visual means, interpret the artwork of others, and appreciate the contributions of artists in other cultures and other times.

From the earliest years, students are encouraged to critically analyze and evaluate the visual imagery they produce and that which they study.

Lower School art students develop an understanding of art as a visual languageā€”one in which they can share their feelings and experiences and explore the world around them.

In Middle School, the art curriculum encourages students to increase their visual awareness and to discover through the elements of art a sense of personal identity.

The Upper School art curriculum builds on the concepts and skills introduced in the Lower and Middle Schools.  Beginning US students experience art in all major media and historical styles.  Upper level studio classes help students develop a high level of mastery as well as a personal style that expresses their personal vision.  Advanced Placement classes in both Studio and Art History offer college level instruction for the highly motivated student.

The PK-12 visual arts program at Westchester Country Day School:

  • uses the elements of art and the principles of design as a foundation for exploring visual arts concepts and processes.
  • employs developmentally appropriate processes for teaching and learning that are based on authentic studio activities.
  • encourages cognitive growth by using higher level critical thinking skills to identify problems, explore original solutions, and complete the problem solving process. This has practical application not only in visual arts, but in all areas of the curriculum and for life-long learning.
  • utilizes reading, writing and math to explore art concepts and facilitate learning in these three areas.
  • develops and promotes self-expression.
  • integrates the visual arts into other curriculum areas through enriching connections. expands aesthetic and intellectual awareness through reading, writing, listening, researching, discussing, critiquing and reflective thinking.
  • teaches how to use all forms of media to create art that is individual and expressive.
  • builds knowledge and understanding of ideas, values, and beliefs of people in different times throughout history as communicated through visual art with the goal of developing visually literate students.
  • challenges students to recognize and develop their own ideas, values and beliefs and communicate them through visual arts.