The Visual Arts Department at Francis Parker School’s primary focus is to enable student experience of the artistic process: design, produce, evaluate. This process will expanded according to the student, the class, the medium, and the teacher. A guiding consideration is that students in the Visual Arts classes may have as little as one trimester of exposure. Within this limitation we intend each student to experience the following components of an Arts Education (distilled from the National Standards for Arts Education and the California Visual and Performing Arts Framework.) In light of the enrollment limitation, these are content-based components of Essential Understandings and not standards of ability/proficiency.
- Artistic Perception – recognize structures and their functions, vocabulary and grammar, elements and principles – Language Skills
- Creative Expression – create, produce, make work by applying tools, techniques, and processes with an emphasis on technical proficiency and literacy – Communication
- Historical and Cultural Context – understand and appreciate art from other times and places around the world and make connections between art and other disciplines – Breadth of Artistic Experience
- Aesthetic Valuing – analyze and evaluate, theorize and interpret, their own work and that of others with an emphasis on a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas – Critique
Along with Artistic Process as the primary Essential Understanding, Art as Communication is the second EU articulated by the department with the use of class critique, public space exhibits and gallery installations promoting student achievement and supporting authentic assessment of both the work and the student. That art is an integral part of human endeavor and essential for the growth of civilization requires that the work be seen, perceived, and experienced: just as the definition of a sound requires an ear, art requires an audience. This fulfillment of the artistic process makes the cycle complete.