Ever since the first human made a mark, visual expression has existed. A strong visual art education offers many extraordinary benefits to children. Improvement in critical thinking, problem solving, flexibility, coordination, creativity, self-direction, personal expression and communication are all contained in the goals of the studio art program at The Renaissance International School.
The artwork that comes out of the studio is a beautiful display of every child’s artistic accomplishments as well as the manifestation of the Montessori philosophy. We believe in every child’s ability, careful guidance, fostering individual intelligence and creativity; in educating of the whole child.
Art lessons at the pre-primary level are designed to introduce and to develop some fundamental art and practical life skills. It is a process of exploration of some basic art media and techniques, such as painting on an easel, drawing with colored pencils, hand rolling and hand building various objects with clay, pasting precut shapes of colored paper on a cardstock, etc. Pre-primary students learn about art studio environment, practice to set up and clean up their working place, and take care of art materials. One-to-one or one-to-two teacher-student ratio and individual approach insures a successful and positive learning process for every student at The Renaissance International School.
Primary At The Renaissance International School students reveal their capabilities to develop their skills within any given art material. They develop the knowledge of how to draw – the pressure of the pencil, the variety of line and shapes, value and intensity of colors. They create their own concepts and understand the impact of their hand on other surfaces including clay. They learn about color theory, brushstroke and texture with paint. Using practiced skills, coupled with commitment, allows them to see their vision through; from research and planning, to choosing materials and executing a finished work.
The idea of following a child is an important part of The Renaissance International School art program. This directly corresponds with the Montessori philosophy. Lessons are given individually, based on the age, developmental level and personal interests of the student. The child brings an idea for the project and the art teacher guides and assists the child in achieving his/her goals. Students choose specific media, and decide how long they will work on each art project during their lesson period. They work in small groups in a prepared environment; all art materials are organized in ways that helps children remember where to find what they need allowing children to work independently.
As the student grows older, his/her ability to concentrate becomes stronger; and the complexity and the duration of the art lessons increase. These long term extensive projects are valuable as the student experiences having an idea, making a plan, choosing materials, tools and techniques working from beginning to end. Allowing the child to have unlimited time to work during their visits to the art studio is what makes it possible to complete such elaborate, and spectacular pieces. Practicing any skill in the art studio allows the student to successfully execute their vision. The result is a finished piece of art that is as creative, distinctive and unique as the student themselves.
Elementary As the primary child enters the elementary art studio they are well prepared for the new environment. The elementary art program is aligned with the Montessori classroom as students spend uninterrupted work periods divided into three parts: lesson work, independent projects and art history. Drawing is the foundation of the lesson work as students are asked to draw what they see, increasing their hand-eye coordination and control over their materials. Foundation lessons are also given in line, shape, value, texture, composition, color and content in a variety of media. Students also spend time working on independent projects of their choice. It is here that they explore their own ideas and put to use their skills and understanding. The students are also exposed to the art of many cultures, the work of individual artists and defined periods in art history. They are also invited to take field trips to museums, contemporary art exhibitions and artist studios.
The elementary age child is generally more critical of their work than is the primary child. The work becomes more detailed, and their need for correct proportion and spatial relationships increase. These students make enormous progress when given instruction, guidance and encouragement. They are continually strengthening their understanding of visual design and create works where intention, content and the development of ideas are more fully discussed. The generous, non-judgmental voice of the teacher helps to create an environment where the children are free to follow through on their personal, artistic visions and develop skills.
The elementary art studio is commonly known to the children as a place where solutions are found for even the most impossible of ideas.
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