The Madison Country Day School’s art curriculum is based on the premise that every child can be taught how to draw, paint, and sculpt. Students are exposed to the work of a variety of artists, from Rembrandt and Dali to Native American and folk art, and are encouraged to imitate and learn from what they see and create. These approaches allow students to appreciate and demonstrate different artistic styles and interpretations, both current and classic.
Basic artistic techniques are formally taught. Each student, however, is encouraged to be individualistic in his or her art. The School devotes generous amounts of time to teach art including art history.
•To develop visual perception
•To develop visual-spacial organization
•To improve visual attention to detail
•To recognize and use the basic elements of shape in drawing realistically
•To appreciate and demonstrate different artistic styles and impressions
•To build an awareness of artists, styles, and periods
•To encourage confidence in skills and creativity of approach
The art curriculum is a drawing-based curriculum modeled on the methods of the Monart School of Art. The focus moves from learning “to see,” to guided drawing exercises, to independent drawing using the techniques learned. All students beginning in pre-kindergarten learn the five basic elements of contour shape. Any object that a student wants to draw can be analyzed in terms of how these five elements of shape are combined. Both the contour edges of objects and the spaces between them are represented by continual patterns of these elements.
All students from the early childhood program through the elementary program learn the basic elements of shape, volume drawing, and design and figure drawing. The drawing curriculum is supplemented by the study of art history, the study and imitation of artists’ works, and occasional craft projects intended to coincide with the history/geography program such as globes, Chinese dragons, and Egyptian pyramids.
Students learn the five basic elements of shape and how they can be combined. The class includes basic drawing, painting and sculpture. The children learn color properties and observe the interplay between color and light and bright and dark colors. Students also examine and discuss works of art, including cave paintings, the art of ancient Egypt, and Impressionism, including Monet and Degas. They then create a piece in the style of the artist. Portraiture is introduced as well. Art topics and activities may be added to complement other subjects learned by the class.
Students review the five basic elements of shape and how they combine and apply this knowledge to design in drawing, painting and sculpture. Students complete a guided drawing of a carousel horse and several independent drawings from graphics and sight observation. Students study sculpture and architecture for symmetry and balance. They also study depth, perspective, light and shadow in two-dimensional artworks. Art topics and activities may be added to complement other class subjects.
Students review the five basic elements of shape and how they can be combined. Students observe how the basic elements of art, lines, color, light, shadow, texture, pattern, etc., work together to please viewers, to show emotion, to tell a story, or to give viewers a new way of looking at something. Students learn volume drawing, learn to recognize and duplicate positive and negative space, practice still life drawings and paintings, and learn to sculpt. Learning how repetition of shapes and color can create a pattern or rhythm, students participate in a Faith Ringgold quilt-making study and a pointillism project. Art topics and activities may be added to complement other class subjects.
Students review the five basic elements of shape and how they combine. Students learn approaches to design and figure drawing and make independent drawings from graphics and sight observation. The year includes a section on art history as students study M.C. Escher and optical art, Chinese art, museums, and Gothic cathedrals. Topics and activities are added to coordinate with other class subjects, particularly history, geography, and music. Other topics and activities include contour drawings, Renaissance art, and profile drawings.