The arts are vital to children’s development in many ways. They don’t just develop creativity, but also strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Guided by the National Core Arts Standards and California State Standards for Visual Art, Holy Family School’s art lessons emphasise the creative process and allow students opportunities to explore and appreciate their own original expressions. Grades K-5 participate in weekly hour-long art classes, while middle school students take part in monthly 90-minute art lessons.

What is the importance of Arts Education?

According to the National Core Arts Standards, “Success and achievement in the arts demands engagement in the four fundamental creative practices of imagination, investigation, construction, and reflection in multiple contexts. These meta-cognitive activities nurture the effective work habits of curiosity, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication, and collaboration, each of which transfers to the many diverse aspects of learning and life in the 21st century.”

What are the Visual Arts?

Visual Arts, as defined by the National Art Education Association, “include the traditional fine arts such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture; media arts including film, graphic communications, animation, and emerging technologies; architectural, environmental, and industrial arts such as urban, interior, product, and landscape design; folk arts; and works of art such as ceramics, fibers, jewelry, works in wood, paper, and other materials.”

California State Board of Education Visual Arts Content Standards

The Visual and Performing Arts Framework for California Public Schools states:

“Through study and the experience of producing works of art, students learn the basic visual arts vocabulary, based on the elements of art and the principles of design. Artists and art students at any grade level work with those elements: line, color, shape, texture, form, and space. With the application of the principles of design, such as harmony, balance, rhythm, dominance, and subordination, artists can create unique and original statements through endless combinations, variations, and innovations…”

“At all levels students learn how the visual arts connect to the world around them, to other curriculum areas, and to careers. The curriculum for a standards based visual arts program should be well planned and articulated through the grade levels. An effective curriculum incorporates all five of the arts component strands in the content standard:

  1. Artistic Perception: 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:  Students apply artistic processes and skills, using a variety of media to communicate meaning and intent in original works of art.

  3. Aesthetic Valuing: Students apply artistic processes and skills, using a variety of media to communicate meaning and intent in original works of art.

  4. Historical and Cultural Context: 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, Applications: Students apply what they learned 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.