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Visual Arts Kids
Together we can

Art Education in SDoL: Developing our children’s skills in seeing, feeling, thinking, & creating.

In the School District of Lancaster, we believe that The Arts teach skills that can be taught and learned; it is not just about aptitude or talent. Therefore, we focus on:

  • Hands-on, Experiential Instruction
  • Visual Language & Verbal Literacy
  • Connections to Mathematical Concepts
  • Differentiated Instruction

Our students work through the creative process: think/plan/brainstorm, create, and reflect, many times going through the process as a cycle. Our instruction is based on the PA Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities as well as the National Core Arts Standards. We invite you to see our students’ work at our district art shows (fall and spring), held in conjunction with Lancaster ArtWalks and First Fridays.

Where it all begins – The Elementary School Art Classrooms

The Elementary Art Classrooms introduce our children to the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design while ensuring students engage in creativity. Students learn about various media, techniques, and processes to produce works of art, perhaps through drawing, painting, 3D paper, and many more.  They explore and learn about line, shape, form, space, texture, value, pattern, balance, contrast, proportion, rhythm, unity, and emphasis.

Most lessons are based on a historical and/or cultural context, sometimes through a specific artist (such as Lancaster’s own Charles Demuth) or through a style such as pointillism.  Students explore and learn about using symbols to express ideas and examine the symbolism used in works by artists in specific times and places.

Evaluating artwork including self-critiques and critiquing the works of other are also introduced to our elementary school artists.  Professional artists learn and grow through reflecting on their own creations as well as the works of others and our students need to learn these same skills to help them learn and grow in their own creative process.

Maturing Artists – The Middle School Art Classroom

Our middle school artists learn to go deeper within the elements of art and principles of design and are engaged in making more detailed artworks that require a more mature understanding of media, techniques, and processes, as well as finer hand-eye coordination.   Our middle school teachers are transforming the learning and creating processes in art as they prepare for IB Middle Years implementation in the art classrooms.  Students will be engaged in more intra-disciplinary learning and creating more real-world projects that have meaning for them. The creative process is explored frequently as students learn to become better at self-reflection, leading to more independence in the teaching and learning process.

Exploring skills and careers in art – The High School Art Classroom

High school art students take classes for a variety of reasons. Whether it is for an arts credit for graduation, to help develop their love of art as a tool of self-expression, or to prepare for an art major in college or a future job as an artist, the J. P. McCaskey High School Campus has the courses to enable students to learn and grow in the arts no matter the motivation.  Course offerings include: General Art, Foundations of Art (usually for students who want to go on to more specialized art courses), 4 levels of Drawing and Painting, 4 levels of Clay, 2 levels of Illustrator Design, 4 levels of Computer Photography, 2 levels of Printmaking, Three-Dimensional Design, 2 levels of AP Art, IB Art & Design, and 2 levels of Stage Production.

Students graduating from the McCaskey Campus have been accepted at a variety of art schools including Millersville University and the PA College of Art and Design (locally) as well as the Tyler School of Art (Temple University) in Philadelphia.  Their work is featured throughout Lancaster and students regularly receive awards for their art. 

No matter the course, the art teachers are focused on helping students become the best artists they can be including learning and refining skills in creativity, critical-thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.

Upcoming Events for Visual Arts

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