Visual Arts in the Middle School is a place for ideas and materials. Students are exposed to a variety of mediums and techniques. Starting points for projects allow students to discover broad themes to consider and contemporary artists who work with similar concepts. As ideas begin to form, students are encouraged to experiment, try out ideas, and document their process.
Sixth graders are encouraged to begin to value their art making process over their product as they move through projects dealing with ideas around visual mapping and composition, characters, repetition, scale, and perspective. Students are given a lot of freedom to take their work in directions that interest them. This approach is designed to produce engaged young artists who are excited about their work.
In 7th grade, students begin to incorporate themselves into their work. Memories, experiences, and emotions slowly make their way into the art making process. Materials continue to play an important role as we join a personal component to the students’ work. This is the groundwork for helping students develop the skills they need to express themselves effectively through their art. Communicating through visual art is a tool that will continue to be a focus as students move through Middle School and Upper School.
How can I begin to navigate this world using visual art and process as a starting point? In 8th grade, students continue to build upon their brainstorming skills and learn about artists as they respond to themes such as Time, Text in Art, Creating Space, and Objects in/as Art . The line between art and daily life can be blurry at times as students react to nontraditional materials and processes.