The Visual Arts Department’s primary focus is to enable each middle school student the opportunity to experience the artistic process: design, produce, evaluate. This process will expand 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 semester of exposure to a particular offering. 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 enrolment limitation, these are content-based components of Essential Understandings and not standards of ability/proficiency.
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.