Visual Arts

Notre Dame de Sion School encourages exploration and discovery with special emphasis on self- expression, historical context and cultural significance. Lessons in seeing, producing and understanding visual art will be presented in age-appropriate units and linked to prior learning in all subjects. Always the myriad connections of visual art to other academic disciplines will be made so that students benefit from the intrinsic interconnectedness of all creative intellectual endeavors. Finally, as in all Sion education, respect for diversity will be taught as we learn to critically analyze our own and others’ work. This skill is essential to the development of an informed and non-biased appreciation of the broad range of the visual arts. As we learn to respect the artwork of others’ we will also be learning how the language of art binds us all together.

In the earliest stages of the Montessori art curriculum, opportunities to play and freely create with a variety traditional and non-traditional art media are most appropriate and important. Visual Arts at the Primary level allows students to practice and develop the basic physical skills introduced in Montessori as they create more purposeful and meaningful work. An introduction to basic and formal art elements provides a framework for intentional composition and increases the vocabulary and comprehension of art so that an understanding of and appreciation for the works of others become more accessible. The relationship of math principles and narrative literature of the visual arts is made apparent and music and dance are employed in teaching various lessons. The value of art and a respect for human creativity is learned as students are introduced to diverse styles of famous artists.

The Intermediate level allows students to become acquainted with more sophisticated media techniques.Visual Arts at the Middle School level becomes a valuable tool for middle school students seeking to know and relate to their world while they understand and use art as an essential and vital component of human communication.

Upon entering the High School, art students will problem solve a number of visual and verbal challenges through an examination of art history; art criticism; aesthetics; and authentic, self-initiated experimentation with a variety of materials. The elements and principles of design will be studied. Visual thinking and close observation will be practiced. Exploration and discovery will be encouraged. Since visual arts education is, by its very nature, a highly individualized discipline, evaluation at Sion will be based largely on process rather than final product.

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