The visual arts program at La Scuola emphasizes an understanding of art as a form of self-expression linked to cultural tradition. Students learn the principles of art and the elements of design while discovering their own unique ability and creativity. Interdisciplinary themes and projects are chosen to encourage students to apply the knowledge and skills they learn in class and help them in interpreting the world around them. Both the curricular and extra-curricular art programs use New York City’s own vibrant art scene as an inspirational and educational backdrop.
The curricular visual arts program embraces a student-centered and process-focused approach where teachers serve as facilitators—providing guidance and support as each student searches for meaningful and individual solutions to their art and responses to the art of others.
In the lower school, our aim is to promote social and emotional learning by allowing children to relax, focus, feel successful, and express their feelings. By encouraging students to discussion or annotate their art, we promote language and literacy. By helping children to compare, predict, plan, and problem solve we help with their cognitive growth. Finally, guiding children in to use fine motor skills to paint, write, glue, use clay, make collages, sculpt with metal wires, we help improve their physical development.
The upper school curriculum is also a mix of art and art history. In the Media, the three years of art history are chronologically integrated with students’ world history studies. The first Media covers Prehistory to the fall of the Roman Empire; the second Media covers the period from the medieval era to the Baroque; and the third Media covers the period from the French revolution to post-war New York. In the Liceo, the objective is to build on students’ fundamental knowledge of art history and to further develop their visual literacy, aesthetic sensibility and critical awareness.
The extra-curricular visual arts programming enables students to explore different methods and media in-depth. From Photography Club to Afternoons at the Museum, La Scuola’s visual arts program instills an appreciation of art as a rich and varied language of human expression and stimulates in students an awareness of art as a powerful factor in the ongoing shaping of culture.
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