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A student using a pottery wheel to create a clay sculpture.

Visual Arts

Finding Pride in The Process

DCD’s visual arts program is more about process than product. We have designed our curriculum to help children learn from the creative process while building increasingly more advanced artistic skills and vocabulary. That way they become both creators and appreciators of visual arts.

Creativity connects our community so students have ample opportunity to share their work in school-wide assemblies and in the prominent exhibits adorning our halls.

The Mediums and The Methods

A focus on pacing and planning rather than racing to complete a project lets a child’s creativity unfold over several class periods.

A student working on a painting.

 

Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms enjoy daily artistic encounters as a part of their Choice and Project Time. These include teacher-directed, step-by-step activities and open-ended explorations using a variety of media including paints, cutting and gluing paper, working with clay, or creating with recycled materials. Through these activities, young students learn about the concepts of line, shape, and color. Kindergarten students expand their artistic repertoire by working in other mediums such as oil pastels, different types of paint, and wood scraps for creative sculpting.

Creativity, Critical Thinking and Conversation

We love to see the pride students take in their final products, but we place greater value on the planning, analyzing, experimenting, learning from mistakes, and self-reliance involved in the creative process.

A student smiling while drawing a picture.
A student smiling with their drawing.

Students develop foundational skills to create art and think critically in discussing it. They work with various mediums and explore different elements of design such as point, line, form, movement, space, color, pattern, and texture. Students also dive into art history, studying and discussing the life and work of a particular artist that might inspire the creation of their own work.

Playing to Their Passions

Confident in the artistic skills they’ve built, Middle School students are eager to try so many new options at their fingertips.

Two students working on an art project together and laughing.
Students learning how to cast sculptures during an art class.

With more than 40 art classes to choose from, DCD Middle School students can hone their craft or discover new ones. Young artists can work with clay, watercolors, digital photography, drawing, sculpting, movie making, animation, and set design. Middle school students take three arts courses a term, with nine total for the year. While there are some requirements to ensure exposure and balance among the four disciplines of woodworking, visual arts, drama, and music, students choose courses based on their interests. With the exception of grade-specific requirements, middle school art classes are cross-grade offerings allowing students to connect and learn from each other.