"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." Aristotle
The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of knowing that engage us in effective, imaginative and productive activities. Learning through the arts helps us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and individuality. A focus on the individual enhances our self-confidence, resilience and adaptability. It encourages our sense of belonging and community through the recognition of identities. During adolescence, the arts provide an opportunity for age-appropriate and holistic development of the social, emotional, intellectual and personal intelligences of the student. -MYP Arts Guide
Students in the Middle Years Program (MYP) arts program engage in visual arts through knowing & understanding, building skills, thinking creatively and responding.
Grade 5: Identity and Community
“What and how I choose to represent myself offers insight into part of who I am.” - Grade 5 Statement of Inquiry
Students of 5th grade explore the concept of identity formation for their personal still life unit, building on skills of observational drawing, students create pastel drawings observing highlights and shadows to create three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional surface. By participating in this fundamental drawing activity students are building confidence through practice and learning to trust what they see. Students create a series of drawings using their own personal objets linked to different aspects of their identity thinking creatively to choose objects that will engage their audience. Many students continue to extend their knowledge of materials creating independent pastel drawings.
The work below represents various aspects of their process.
Change and Collaboration
"By being adaptive and flexible with change I can better cope with uncertainty, imagining innovative solutions." -Grade 5 Statement of Inquiry
Students of 5th grade Visual Arts create a series of collagraph “Shoe Prints” by planning and organizing textures. Students develop their collaboration skills while learning the multi-step processes and techniques needed for printmaking. The observational skills practiced in our first unit are utilized as they change their observed drawings into abstracted shapes and textures.
Together we discover these prints are not possible without the help of others!
Grade 6: Connection and Human Expression
“We present stories to communicate our understanding of who we are and what it means to be human.” -Grade 6 statement of Inquiry
The work of the 6th grade “YouMove” interdisciplinary unit shares the significance of story. We share our stories to connect and make meaning. Throughout their unit students study light and color, abstraction (cubism and expressionism), color schemes, and how we can utilize the these tools to share our personal expression in an abstract way.
For their final artwork students choose a famous fable or historical event and create a series of abstract artworks representing the key emotions of that story. Students are encouraged to utilize a variety of materials and processes and are encouraged to use the medium of their choice that best represents their ideas.
The work below represents some of the process artwork leading up to their final artwork.
Grade 7: Change and Advocacy
"By sharing my ideas, I can highlight issues of injustice and prompt cultural change in my community, imagining a hopeful future." -Grade 7 Statement of Inquiry
Artists being called to action! Seventh grade students explore change, art advocacy and context. Looking at a variety of street artists, students gain insight into the history of street art and what inspires artists to take the risk of sharing work in a public sphere. Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Keith Haring, Basquiat, and Banksy are just a few of the many artists students explore. Students participate in a walking tour of Bushwick, Brooklyn as a living, breathing outdoor art gallery. This experience highlights the diversity of perspectives within this contemporary movement.
In addition to the history and context, students identify symbols and imagery of visual culture and represent them in their own street art piece. Students brainstorm possible compositions and reflect throughout their artistic process. For their final art installation students spray their work on the Whitby Street Art wall. The wall changes yearly sharing the visual culture of each 7th grade class.
Grade 8: Values and Culture
“Personal aesthetics can be better understood by learning about the culture of the creator.” -Grade 8 Statement of Inquiry
8th grade students complete their artistic experience by investigating their aesthetics and how they link to culture. Students engage in a variety of experiences to explore Western and Eastern aesthetics. Utilizing the tool of Pinterest they collect works that are visually appealing. The imagery curated on their online galleries represent their personal aesthetic and are used as a spring board for their own creation in the medium of ceramics.
Each student creates a series of clay works, developing their processes of hand building techniques including slab, coil, pinch pot and hollowing forms. Students are also introduced to the pottery wheel. The creations are as varied as our 8th grade students highlighting what is most important to them and discovering their personal and artistic values.