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An Artful Start in L.E. Art!

Our study of Visual Art in Lower Elementary this year began with projects that used our names as a focal First-year students spent the first few art classes carefully using strips of tape to form their names, and then using primary colours to paint the background.

Older students likewise experimented with lines by spelling out their names in glue and string, and then burnishing foil on top to create an arresting design in relief. It was wonderful to see the children experimenting with different types of lines: some students opted to use straight, angular lines while others used sinuous, curvy lines to express their names and their personalities.

The literal use of our names to create a beautiful work of art carries a deliberate and direct message: Art is valuable because it uniquely expresses who we are. By creating work that joyfully reflects a sense of identity, we learn that art is something inextricably tied – and truly unique – to human nature.

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More about the MBTS Lower Elementary Visual Arts Program:

This program aims to:

  • Inspire children to recognize beauty in their environment and in their own ideas and work
  • Enrich the children’s abilities to express themselves by exposing and familiarizing them with a wide variety of art media and techniques
  • Cultivate an understanding of the fundamental aesthetic elements and principles of art and design
  • Instill an appreciation for the social value of art as a means of communication and as an expression of idea, feeling and beauty

In order to achieve these essential objectives, the Lower Elementary Visual Arts Program at MBTS focuses on three fundamental aspects of Visual Art:

Creation and Imagination – Students are given every opportunity to form original ideas, by drawing inspiration from the ideas of other great artists, by connecting their own experiences and knowledge to their work, and by solving problems that do not have an immediately obvious solution. The elementary plane is a critical period for developing the imagination but it must be specified that imagination is not limited to the ability to conjure ideas when faced with a blank page. True creativity is the ability to fill in gaps in knowledge or solve problems in ways that are not immediately obvious, by using one’s own knowledge, experiences and abilities. Students are thus actively challenged with the “problem” or “limits” of each lesson or project. Cross-curricular connections will be key catalysts to further fuel creative thought, build lateral thinking and cultivate the synthesis of knowledge.

Response and Appreciation – Students develop an appreciation for art as a means for social communication and as a means of human expression. Students develop this appreciation by gaining awareness of various art forms in their environment and local community, by learning to clearly identify and analyze the principal elements that are utilized in visual art, by understanding how visual imagery is effectively used to communicate, and by developing the ability to use images to express their own thoughts and feelings. Analysis, reflection and offering feedback on art – both one’s own and that of others – is a fundamental component in this stream.

Exploration and Expression – An idea is only limited by the artist’s ability to express it. Students are introduced to and familiarized with a wide variety of media, tools, techniques and art forms – including drawing, painting, print-making and sculpture – with which they can express their own ideas, feelings and stories. Fine motor skills are inevitably developed, through the use of refined movements to create two-dimensional images and three-dimensional forms.

These three streams of focus are inextricably connected and permeate all aspects of the curriculum. Lessons will focus on one of the three streams on a rotating basis, in order to maintain a vibrant balance of emphasis. Spontaneous learning and cross-curricular project opportunities are actively incorporated into the class.

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