Visual Arts

Exposure to diverse media throughout students’ IB visual arts experiences encourages development of critical thinking skills and promotes individual self-expression.

The K through 5 Visual Arts program is designed so that students may make creative use of their personal experiences and knowledge, using many tools and methods and keeping in mind that art is the universal means of communication. As such, students learn to “speak in a hundred languages!” 

The Kindergarten program focuses on encouraging students to experiment with a wide variety of media to explore and express ideas.

The Grade 1 program focuses on reinforcement of the concepts of line, shape, color and form in the creation of works of art. 

The  Grade 2 program focuses on reinforcing the concept that individual artists and cultural groups, work with a wide variety of styles and purposes. 

The Grade 3 program focuses on recognizing that art is a means of expression that is universal, not solely individual. 

The Grade 4 program focuses on recognizing that art is a means of expression that is universal, not solely individual. 

The Grade 5 program focuses on fostering students’ confidence as artists and developing their individual artistic visions.

In Kindergarten through Grade 2 there is a particular emphasis on the relationship of great works of children’s literature to art, and children often create works of art inspired by these books. Most projects in Kindergarten through Grade 5 are also interdisciplinary endeavors which are inspired by the IB curriculum and corresponding units of inquiry. The works of great masters such as Van Gogh, Matisse, O’Keeffe, Picasso, Rousseau, Jasper Johns and many others are introduced and provide inspiration to our young artists as they explore a variety of themes.

Grade 6

Grade 6 students have the opportunity to explore a variety of different media in Visual Arts. Students are provided with an Arts Process Journal which is kept in the art room through their middle year’s program. This is the IB equivalent of a sketchbook. Lessons, project planning, and reflection are done in this book along with project rubrics. The curriculum ties into other subject areas of the curriculum throughout the year.
For example, students focus during the first trimester revolves around the Catalina Field Study. Students learn about the marine life indigenous to Catalina and then choose an organism that they individually study. Students have the opportunity to use sketch-n-wash pencils to create their respective animals with implied 3-D. They then follow this up with an actual Ceramic 3-D sculpture of their chosen animal. This is a cross curricular lesson with Science and Language and Literature. Later in the year, students attend the Huntington Library for a Math and Art field trip. Students render a pencil drawing of a piece of art from the Huntington collection. 

Grade 7

Grade 7 students continue with their exploration of media. The curriculum continues to tie into other subject areas throughout the year. For example, students create a faux stained glass painting once they learn about the Middle Ages in Humanities. Students also have the opportunity to learn certain art mediums and techniques while incorporating other disciplines into the curriculum. For example, students create a Percussive Pod, also known as a rattle, out of clay. They are taught how variations in size, shape, and ventilation holes can change the pitch. Using the tools and knowledge they have gathered, they plan design and predict the sound of the instrument they create.

Grade 8                                                                                            

Grade 8 students finish their third year having studied a variety of media in the Visual Arts Program. As with the other years, the curriculum continues to have ties to other subject areas of the curriculum throughout the year. For example, students participate in the Chapman Holocaust & Writing Contest. In collaboration with Language and Literature, survivor video testimonies are viewed and students select a survivor to honor in an artistic expression. They create a voice through their art for that survivor. This project alone allows the students to explore history and understand it on a deeper level.
As students’ progress through the Middle Years Program, they are encouraged to find their own aesthetic style and voice.
Visual Arts Offerings
  • Art History
  • Arts and the Media
  • Ceramics
  • Digital Media
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Mixed Media
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture