The purpose of the program is to help each boy develop his own creative style while introducing basic art techniques and the proper use of art equipment and materials. Teachers draw on subject matter close to the student’s world: his own experiences, seasons and holidays, family, and the environment. Much of the work is interdisciplinary and connected with classroom curriculum. Drawing, painting, clay work and sculpture, printing, crafts, and general design work are approached in each successive grade at a slightly more advanced level. Field trips to various museums extend the classroom experience.
Instruction is given in the use and/or application of crayons, oil pastels, markers, glue, scissors, paint, and clay. Projects include step-by-step instruction. Basic art technique and the proper use of introductory tools are stressed. Many art pieces grow out of a curricular focus on holidays and family, as well as classroom experiences.
The curriculum is aimed at improving the skills and techniques learned in Pre-Primary using similar materials and subject matter. Boys are introduced to many different materials and techniques, including paper sculpture, drawing and collage, landscape using cray-pas, and masks made with foam core. Students will use clay to make pinch pots and animals, draw with ink, paint with tempera, and use a combination of the above to complete various projects.
By Grade Two, more individualization is encouraged. Techniques and projects become more involved as the boys continue to study the elements of art and principles of design. Students continue to explore a wide variety of materials such as paper maché, wire, clay, variety papers, and paint. Emphasis is placed on basic color theory and famous artists such as Matisse, Van Gogh, and Picasso.
Students assume more responsibility for the preparation of their projects, which consist of many more stages from preliminary studies to the final project. Students are introduced to abstract images through artists like Brice Marden and Wassily Kandinsky. Learning to mix specific colors and using different sized brushes, they paint an abstract composition followed by a self-portrait. After the painting projects are complete, boys work with clay to make clay food and other basic forms.
In Fourth Grade design and careful work is stressed. The boys have reached a degree of social maturity that allows them to work on large and group projects, which are undertaken over the course of the year. Emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary work with homeroom teacher on Egyptian, Greek, and Roman studies. For example, boys will sketch sarcophagi and turn their sketches into three-dimensional life-sized sculptures. This, along with other projects throughout the year, introduces students to a wide range of media, including ink, clay, paint, collage, and charcoal.