Visual Arts 

 
Visual Arts at The Rhoades School includes multiple art forms such as the elements of design, painting, photography, illustration, architecture, and mixed media.  Students express understanding of academic concepts through artistic representations in their homerooms in all subject areas.  Students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade also learn to think like an artist by taking weekly classes with our resident artist in art history, art appreciation and formal techniques in art. Middle school students may elect to continue their coursework in our Portfolio Studio Arts elective.

Lower School

Art education at the kindergarten level encourages early discovery and exploration through the introduction of various art media, tools, processes and techniques. Repetitive experiences with tools help students to experiment and expand previous awareness. The perceptual, sensory, and manipulative development of students is emphasized at this time.

In First Grade, students expand their ability to create with various art materials, and to reflect on the importance of the visual arts in defining community and transferring that knowledge to an evolving world view. New techniques are introduced to enhance personal expression. Social skills such as sharing, and respect for the work of others are emphasized. Students become aware of the role of artist in building a community. Art is understood as a worthy endeavor. First Grade will learn about Art History and cultures.

At this grade level students should expand the ways they draw and know that there is more than one way to depict 3-dimensional form. In 2nd grade students begin to develop exposure to drawing from observation, explicitly discussing the differences of drawing from memory. Learning how to look carefully at a subject is challenging, but drawing from observation is a crucial skill and students are often eager to develop their ability. It is developmentally appropriate for students to hone their ability to make conscious choices utilizing media, concepts and technique to represent the observable world. It is also critical that students become more mindful of how these choices affect their artwork and can describe these choices verbally. Students will be exposed to various mediums that will expand their opportunity to make choices in their artwork and experiment with technique.

In third grade, the concepts of space and dimension are emphasized. The students will recognize and work with spatial relationships in two- and three-dimensions. Pattern and order are stressed. Composition is analyzed as a fundamental component of art. Art history and cultural studies will focus on topics of study within the third grade.

In fourth grade, students identify and apply the elements of art and principles of design. Students will be formally introduced to the concept of abstraction and learn that expressive qualities are not restricted to any particular style. Emphasis will be placed on the ability of students to value their own emerging style. Fourth graders will learn about art history.

In fifth grade, color relationships and value are emphasized. Students study and apply the principles of design to their own work. Fifth graders continue to learn to value and respect their own artwork and the work of others. Students will analyze and critique works of historic and contemporary art to enhance their appreciation and understanding of art and culture. 

Middle School

Middle School Portfolio Studio Arts is designed for the students who are interested in the practical experience of growing as an artist.  This studio art experience will offer artists the opportunity to demonstrate mastery through any two-dimensional medium or process, such as design, photography, collage, illustration, painting or drawing.  PSA candidates will develop technical skills that incorporate the functions of elements of art and principles of design.  Artists will develop an overarching universal theme to guide them in building a cohesive body of artwork that is reflective of visual art concerns and methods. The portfolio requires the artists to exhibit a deep understanding of investigation and process of discovery through the exploration of visual elements, principles of design and material techniques.
 
colored pencil drawing
student artist
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