This live, online visual arts course is suited for upper elementary and middle school students of all art backgrounds and abilities, and incorporates only family friendly materials. A complete blend of art appreciation and fine art lessons, this course is designed around the National Visual Arts standards (part of the National Core Arts Standards), building a solid foundation for further advanced art courses in the Visual Arts.
So much more than basic art lessons, this course focuses on helping students learn to think like artists and develop basic understanding of the Elements of Art (line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space) and the Principles of Design (rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity). Through both studying the works of famous artists and creating their own works of art using a variety of media and techniques, students develop their creative and expressive abilities, knowledge of art history, capabilities to make aesthetic judgments, and an ability to make visual connections across subject areas.
This one-of-a-kind class features weekly live explorations in aesthetics, production, art criticism, and art history, AS WELL AS engages students in creative problem solving through a variety of contemporary and traditional art-making processes in a very non-traditional studio experience. Students are continually involved in innovative creative thinking, self-expression, problem solving, and experimenting with different techniques and media within their creative work. They are also encouraged to develop their skills in both verbal and written expression, as well as in their artwork. Students are encouraged to visit a local art museum or gallery at least once in this class (if at all possible.) Each semester will wrap up with a virtual art exhibit to share with family and friends, as well as with the Aim Academy community!
Our virtual class time will involve interactive discussion of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history; demonstration and class experimentation with various techniques and media with a weekly visual prompt; and conclude with critique, project planning, and fun art/art history games and activities. An optional live stream demonstration of each week’s project will be recorded and posted each Thursday where students can follow along with the instructor on the weekly project and ask questions throughout the process, or students may watch the recording posted on our Canvas website where they can pause or speed up the process as needed.
This course seeks to achieve the following goals through a study of artists and their art as well as weekly hands-on projects:
- We will identify, describe, and apply the elements of art and principles of design.
- We will experience studio practices that include a variety of traditional media, techniques, and processes in two and three dimensions. (*While supply lists are given and encouraged, media substitutions are provided and allowed with a focus on mastering the concepts vs. mastering the media.)
- We will develop basic visual art literacy and vocabulary at the middle school level.
- We will discuss works of art regarding theme, genre, style, idea, and differences in media.
- We will describe how artists can show the same theme by using different media and styles as we study significant artists, styles, and movements in Art History.
- We will compare and contrast works of art from various periods, styles, and cultures and explain how those works reflect the society in which they were made.
- We will develop and refine observational drawing skills to depict a variety of subject matter.
- We will create increasingly complex original works of art reflecting personal choices and increased technical skill, selecting specific media and processes to express moods, feelings, themes, or ideas.
- We will experience opportunities to apply the constructs of Art Criticism and critique to works of art, including their own
- We will be introduced to careers in and related to visual art.
- We will generate portfolios as assessment tools and artistic presentation.
- We will develop basic creative problem-solving skills and refine craftsmanship.
- We will explore visual avenues to communicate self-expression.
My teaching style is lighthearted, relational, and tailored to each group of students in my class. I keep my class atmosphere positive and encouraging— a place where all feel welcome and valued, with a focus on the joy and wonder of creating and creation, and where all artworks discussed will be kept PG and family-friendly.
All critiques, whether given by teacher or classmates with a rubric, will be crafted to produce insightful, helpful and, wherever possible, positive statements meant to encourage and deepen the understanding and success of the student artist. All feedback to all students will be done in positivity, kindness, and encouragement with a focus on the art concepts being studied over talent or skill level.
Live course meeting time: LIVE meetings via Zoom will occur every week on Wednesdays at 3PM EST.
All course meetings are optional (though encouraged for class community) and will be recorded for scheduling convenience. Students who are unable to attend live lectures still will be able to participate with peers through our weekly short-form written group discussions on the course website in Canvas. This course emphasizes that art is for ALL and values the heart of homeschooling where flexibility is a top priority!
Over the course of the school year, students will engage in interactive lectures and weekly discussions, reflect and respond orally and in writing to famous artworks in numerous styles and art movements, (creating two papers/presentations). Students can also expect to keep a visual journal and a sketchbook, where they will wrestle with and work through artistic problems. Students will also have hands-on art projects to work on each week, some taking several weeks for completion. This class will require several hours (2—3hrs., including live class time) of creative and reflective response time each week.
Weekly assignments may include:
- A weekly 50-minute LIVE MEETING
- Reading/viewing assignments from our text, handouts, or various sources
- Art journal/sketchbook prompts
- Art projects in a variety of styles, techniques, and media
- Research, critiques, and compare and contrast papers (only 1 paper/presentation max per semester)
Who should enroll?
Students in 6th—8th grade should enroll in this class. All artistic skill levels welcome! This class provides general visual art education and is planned to develop essential basic skills of expression and understanding in art.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Digital camera (can be phone with camera), or other means to photograph, scan, and upload student artwork
Evaluation and Feedback
All homework will be submitted and formally critiqued through our website on Canvas; I provide detailed critiques on all artwork (focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept/theme vs. artistic skill) as well as special projects/papers. My goal is to provide detailed artwork critiques within 1 week of the assignment’s due date (2 weeks for larger projects). Students receive all critiques well before the next art project is due so that they may steadily develop and grow in their artistic abilities while improving their work and developing their own artistic style with each assignment!
I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email with clear details and video instructions on how to navigate this course. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers, and I will respond to all parents and student questions via email or Canvas message within 24 hours. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.