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San Domenico School

Lower School Visual Arts

Developing a child's capacity to respond to art enriches their capacity to feel and create in a worldwide community through awareness of cross-cultural connections in the arts. The San Domenico art program is integrated with classroom curriculum, and contains a long-range view of academic and creative direction based on scope and sequence. Students will develop visual and tactile perception—learning to see as an artist through plain aire mediums, still life, and direct observation. For example, recently live chickens were brought into the art studio—students studied them, sketched, created collages, and sculpted glazed ceramic roosters.

Artistic growth is fostered through instruction; it does not grow automatically. Each child is challenged to create in new directions and acquire more advanced skills. The program builds on a framework of art concepts, elements, and techniques.

Arts in Action

Each spring, parents enjoy an evening of viewing selected art pieces completed by the students over the year’s course of study combined with a performance of music, song and dance which also demonstrates their cumulative skills development in those areas.

There are regular field trips to local world-class museums such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the de Young Museum. Technology is used to inspire further expression through art history, online interaction, and live demonstrations by internationally respected artists.


Kindergarten

Art is a core part of a San Domenico education. Children learn to paint, creating their own versions of masters such as Van Gogh and Matisse, and they discuss the artists’ work.

In Matisse’s case, “he made a big mess.” Building on a strong foundation, students continue to see their core curriculum woven into art, and we see art grow from their academic studies.

Grade 1

Projects include self portraits, still life, representational sculpture and plein aire using collage, drawing, and paintings inspired by an art movement such as impressionism.

Grade 2

Students learn about figures in motion, and begin working on sophisticated oil pastel drawings. The year moves on to sculpture and the opportunity to use a variety of mediums. Often the year features projects such as mandalas, dinosaurs, and portraits.

Grade 3

Students learn about figures in motion, and begin working on sophisticated oil pastel drawings. The year moves on to sculpture and the opportunity to use a variety of mediums. Often the year features projects such as mandalas, dinosaurs, and portraits.

Grade 4

Students study different watercolor and ink techniques, including Japanese brush painting. There is an emphasis on Chinese and Japanese art styles, and their influence on art history. They are introduced to perspective, and how to create the illusion of three dimensional forms in drawing and painting.

Grade 5

Students are exposed to pottery from a variety of cultures, from California Native American to classical Greek pottery, and use slap and coil clay techniques to create their own, taking their work from clay to a finished glazed and painted piece. Other projects often include "Chops" (name stamps), self-portrait mosaic tiles, observation of light and shadow while sketching, and acrylic painting on campus.

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