Art Education in the
Elmira City Schools
Introduction for Parents:
The art teachers of the Elmira City Schools have identified ten important concepts or, "Big Ideas," to be taught at all grade levels Pre-K-12. We have chosen to highlight one sample concept per grade level for parents/guardians to help you understand the important knowledge and information your child will be experiencing during their years of exciting art classes in the district.
Elmira City Schools' Concepts for Art Classes
Teaching the "Big Ideas"
...is the arrangement of the elements of art and the principles of design within a piece of art. It is driven by the artist as a means of giving visual and emotional unity and consistency to a work of art and allows the viewer to comprehend its meaning.
Elements of Art: line, shape, color, texture, form, space and value
Principles of Design: rhythm, movement, repetition, balance (proportion), contrast (variety), unity (harmony) and emphasis
...are the natural ways that art ties into other subject areas and themes. Art often gives meaning to an idea and broadens knowledge by giving visual clarity to a historical event, a cultural reference, or any kind of new information.
- Culture and Art History
...sets the stage and context for where, when, and how a piece of art was created. It investigates the ideas of the artist at a given point in time and conveys a great deal about the society and/or region of the world from which it originated.
...centers on the concept of an artist expressing through the creation of art who he/she is as a person and what he/she stands for or believes in. This type of work poses the question "Who am I?"
- Communication and Expression
...are key factors in how a work of art conveys meaning. Artists use their creations to impact a viewer or audience. The expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words," derived from the importance of this kind of experience.
...is the right of every child we teach. They deserve the opportunity to reach out to new ideas, test different media, and seek the right setting in the quest to express themselves. This concept encourages risk-taking in the creation of art.
...are ways of thinking critically about a work of art by describing, analyzing, interpreting, and valuing it. This experience is a constructive response, usually done in small groups, and is taught as a way of ascribing meaning to and expanding the understanding of an artist's work.
...is the process of making an original product through human invention or artistic imagination. It lets the mind go free and unleashes the power of innovation. Creativity can be inspired by a transforming experience, a moving story, a never-before-seen design possibility, a newly realized empathy for a heartfelt situation, or simply a desire to play around with elements until they come together to make meaning.
- Seeing and Observing
...are necessary skills for the artist. As children we saw and touched everything; but as we grow older we become conditioned to blocking out the stimuli around us. As artists, we reawaken our sensitivity to the visual world and create art as a response to or expression of that experience.
- Media Technology
...has become very important in current practice. Artists throughout history have taken a leading role in embracing innovation and its application to everyday life. Whether it's using technologically created material to create a work of art, manipulating software programs to envision new ideas, or using digitally created images to express the world around us, artists use innovative thinking to capture and express the human condition.
The art teachers Elmira City Schools wish to thank you for visiting their web site.
A special thank you to the Arnot Art Museum for permission to reproduce artwork from their collection.