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Middle School Visual Art

"A spacious studio nestled by a creek that provides a nurturing environment for creativity and exploration."

The San Domenico Visual Arts Program offers students a dynamic hands on exploration of the arts. Through inquiry, risk taking, reflection and mindfulness, students develop a genuine inner confidence that is expressed within their art making process. They explore a wide variety of media and techniques with both extensive 2 and 3 dimensional projects.

As a K-12 school, we value collaborative teacher partnership and purposeful program integration across school levels, and this is certainly true of our Visual Arts program. Our art teachers collaborate, plan, and integrate the visual arts, developing a comprehensive, aligned program for our students. Projects are integrated with history, religious studies, english, and science classes to deepen student awareness of various cultures and their art forms. Research, written reports, and oral presentations about artists and art history are part of course expectations every year.

In the middle of our beautiful campus nestled by a creek, you will find our Dino R. Ghilotti Motta Visual Arts Center. The northern exposure allows for a perfect amount of light to accomplish both 2D and 3D art making on the inside and a nature inspiring outdoor studio on the outside.

San Domenico School has a commitment to foster understanding of the visual arts—discovering the depth, magic, and power of creative work. Framed by the four core values of our school, our curriculum and instruction guide student development, as they study and develop their technical skills in 6th grade, examine local and cultural communities in 7th grade, and express their unique vision and voice in 8th Grade. Our curriculum includes assignments in drawing, oil / chalk pastel, printmaking, acrylic painting, collage / assemblage, journaling, ceramics, and a variety of sculpture mediums.

Curriculum by Grade Level

6th grade - This is a foundations course, that meets two times a week for 45 minutes in which students develop their artistic and observational skills. Projects move students through a wide variety of techniques, terminology, and mediums to insure that they have ample exposure, experience, and vocabulary in the visual arts. Art history and images from nature are a part of all project presentations. Discussion and critique of student work follows completion of most assignments.

7th grade - The curriculum is designed around the study of art in many cultures—it is a year of looking up and out as students focus on the study of world art and glimpse our place in the larger global world. By studying and creating art inspired by other cultures (Japanese wood cuts, Buddhist mandalas, or the Mexican folk arts associated with Dia de los Muertos) students make connections and begin to understand the universality of art and creativity. We also discuss the power of art as a tool for communication, enlightenment, and social change. Students continue to develop their skills and expressive abilities and are encouraged to become more self-aware around their creative decision making. Students will meet one time a week for an hour and half.

8th grade - Students primarily explore art in modern culture, examining the progressive leaps in art history when artists pushed beyond the boundaries of convention (Impressionism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Conceptual Art.) Eighth grade students are developmentally ready and excited about this discussion, as it is a natural reflection of their increasing independence and intellectual curiosity. The curriculum encourages self expression and is tailored to student needs—encouraging them to emerge as individuals with their own voice, drawing style, and creative sensibility. Students will meet one time a week for an hour and half.



©2016 San Domenico School  •  All rights reserved  •  1500 Butterfield Road  •  San Anselmo, CA 94960  •  (415) 258-1900

Common Sense Educator - Digital Citizenship Certified 2014 US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award


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