Welcome to a new and exciting year at the Kingsley Montessori School Visual Arts program! In addition to our dynamic curriculum, we have some fun new projects: Upper Elementary portfolio prep for middle school interviews, opportunities to stretch photography and writing skills in the Yearbook committee, interdisciplinary links within each student’s classroom, art exhibits, and our third annual Create-A-Day Challenge beginning on October 3rd and culminating in a gallery showing on November 10th!
Our curriculum this year will begin with Art Criticism and Aesthetics, which is to say that we will ask the question “What is Art?” and attempt to answer it. Art Criticism is really just a fancy way to say that we have discussions about artwork. Every student from Kindergarten through Sixth grade will practice the skills necessary to view artwork and have an informed conversation using advanced art vocubulary. We will also discuss context for the artwork we view, placing artists and art pieces in their time period and culture to understand and extract meaning and purpose.
Our studio work will span most techniques of professional artists, beginning in observational drawing, then tackling sculptural forms through clay, wire, and even cardboard. We will then incorporate color theory before jumping into a painting unit to synthesize the skills of observation, shading, placement, color mixing, and creating the illusion of space. In the spring, our lessons take on a more conceptual feel, as we focus on meaning more heavily than the actual appearance of things in the world around us. We will experiment with media such as film, photography, animation, puppetry, and bookmaking.
One very exciting change is that we have a student teacher joining us until December. Marissa Poole is a student at MassArt, and she is very familiar with the Kingsley community through babysitting work for the Soderlund and Wheelan families in the Early Childhood program. From her frequent visits at dismissal, Marissa grew to know and befriend the faculty at the Fairfield building and decided to explore the Elementary program. Below, Marissa explains the philosophy behind her studio work.
I have always thought about how sixty seconds equals a minute, and sixty minutes equals an hour and that turns into a day, which turns into weeks, months, years. My work is based around this idea of little moments that add up to make a life. I normally see something or find something that adds to my day and take a photograph of it. From there, the photograph itself either gets incorporated into a painting/collage, or I just use it to fuel whatever it is that I need to make. This is an example of a photo I took that turned into a transfer collage.