Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Logo Title


Visual art

The fundamental building blocks of art are introduced to cultivate artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, and aesthetic valuing. Visual art and design instruction are organized to cover the basic building blocks of both skill and idea development.

Students apply the artistic processes and skills using a variety of media to communicate meaning and intent in original works of art. They practice fine motor skills and art making dexterity, such as holding scissors and drawing utensils, attaching parts together, and applying controlled pressure in clay modeling. Students create work using a wide range of materials, such as charcoal, paint, motorized drawing bots, ink, mixed media, clay, metal, and wood. In art making, students embrace mistakes, setting personalized goals, and developing their creative confidence.


Students also analyze the role and development of the visual arts worldwide, noting human diversity as it relates to the arts and artists in a historical and cultural context. Artists studied include Faith Ringgold, Ai Weiwei, Georgia O'Keeffe, Romare Bearden, Salvador Dali, Sonia Delaunay, Matisse, Pollock, Alexander Calder, and Kandinsky. They also examine movements and histories of art, such as the surrealists, the gorilla girls, artists with synesthesia, the pottery traditions of Greece and Korea, and California architecture.

Students assess and derive meaning from works of art, including their own, according to the elements of art, the principles of design, and aesthetic qualities. These are the stepping stones for lifelong aesthetic valuing and appreciation.

Students apply what they learn in the visual arts across different subject areas, such as their study of the redwood forest. They develop competencies and creative skills in problem-solving, communication, and time management, which are applicable in any domain. They also learn about careers in and related to the visual arts and its connection and application to everyday life through interacting with art and artists during field trips.

The units are organized into monthly segments for each grade level and culminate in the completion of one or more projects.

The units comprise of the following:

  • Ceramics
  • Digital fabrication/art technologies
  • Self Expression
  • 3-D Fabrication
  • Line
  • Pattern
  • Color
  • Shape/Form
  • Value
  • Contour and drawing
  • Architecture

​Additionally, every unit connects to an art movement, artist, or grade level thematic curriculum. The students learn how to articulate artistic perception, which includes building vocabulary and describing works of art using proper terminology, such as 3-D form, contour, and primary and secondary colors.