All grades, K – 8, are taught using the principles (balance, movement, rhythm, contrast, emphasis, pattern, unity) and elements (line, shape, form, color, value, texture, space) of art. An adapted disciplined based art approach is used. This approach involves art history and appreciation and allows the students to look at all art objectively, to be able to view a piece of art and understand its use of the principles and elements of art. They will be able to apply what they have learned about the principles and elements of art to their own artwork as well. Along with the study of art history comes an appreciation for cultures and their differing art forms. Age appropriate projects, vocabulary and skills are learned, applied and evaluated. A variety of media are used in their projects. The creativity rules are also stressed, as it is my belief that we are all creative individuals, some of us just need to learn how to use our creative tools. These rules are as follows: originality, flexibility, fluency, and elaboration.
In the 6th Grade an intensive study of the elements of art is taught. Projects, tests and discussions take place to evaluate their understanding of the elements.
In the 7th Grade an intensive study of the principles of art is taught. Projects, tests and discussions take place to evaluate their understanding of the principles. 7th grade also does a research project, which includes a written, visual, and oral presentation.
In the 8th grade we put what we have learned about creativity and the elements and principles of art to practice through a variety of projects and discussions. 8th grade does a research project, which includes a written, visual, and oral presentation. 8th grade will have a monthly homework project.
Evaluation is based on certain objectives for that particular project and how well the student met those objectives. Class participation is evaluated on a daily basis as well. Teacher and self-evaluation is used. The St. Mary's grading scales are used for the final grade of a project.