Visual Arts

Program Statement for Visual Arts grades 1-12 

Today more than ever the arts are needed by our young people as a forum for safe expression, communication, exploration, imagination, and cultural and historical understanding. The visual arts play an essential role in the development of the whole student, and we provide this experience for every student for the following reasons:

  1. Brain research confirms that Arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement, school success, and preparation for the work world.
  2. Art classes provide students a chance to develop cognitive and creative skills, and to develop their imaginations.
  3. For some students, Art is their motivation for coming to school and an area where they have success or excel, providing an important balance in their total educational experience.
  4. The arts teach our students to be more tolerant and open through multicultural and historical perspectives and through their involvement in the creative process itself.
The mission of our creative programs is to provide equal access to quality standards-based arts instruction in visual arts by competent, qualified teachers. Because the arts contribute to the total development of the individual and serve an important purpose in society, the Olympia Schools is dedicated to:
  • Expanding the role the arts play within our schools and lives.
  • Creating and maintaining a network of community arts and cultural institutions that support all teachers and students in a standards-based arts curriculum
  • Addressing multiple intelligences, creative thinking, cultural diversity and special needs.

Program Goals and Plan for Achievement of Goals

1) Artistic Perception: Processing, Analyzing, and Responding to Sensory Information Through the Language and Skills Unique to the Visual Arts Students perceive and respond to works of art, objects in nature, events, and the environment. They also use the vocabulary of the visual arts to express their observations.

2) Creative Expression: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Visual Arts Students apply artistic processes and skills, using a variety of media to communicate meaning and intent in original works of art.

3) Historical and Cultural Context: Understanding the Historical Contributions and Cultural Dimensions of the Visual Arts Students analyze the role and development of the visual arts in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting human diversity as it relates to the visual arts and artists.

4) Aesthetic Valuing Responding to, Analyzing, and Making Judgments About Works in the Visual Arts Students analyze, assess, and derive meaning from works of art, including their own, according to the elements of art, the principles of design, and aesthetic qualities.

5) Connections, Relationships, and Applications Connecting and Applying What Is Learned in the Visual Arts to Other Art Forms and Subject Areas and to Careers Students apply what they learn in the visual arts across subject areas. They develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication, and management of time and resources that contribute to lifelong learning and career skills. They also learn about careers in and related to the visual arts.

Other Learning Resources: California Curriculum Framework and Standards