The goal of the Lower School visual arts program at LCDS is to help students gain self-confidence as they develop their perceptual and technical skills and their appreciation and understanding of art. Lower School students have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of media and materials, including drawing, painting, printmaking, crafts, ceramics and sculpture. With each studio experience their technical skills improve, they learn to be more observant of the world around them, and they gain confidence in their ability to express themselves in visual form.
In each grade, students learn about the elements and principles of art along with the major movements and artists in art history. Through interdisciplinary studies, students explore how art and art history connect with their other subjects. Multicultural art forms are also studied to give students a balanced and well-rounded understanding of art and its links to every culture.
In the Lower School art program, students are actively engaged in developmentally appropriate lessons, with the studies and skills of each year building upon the last. In preschool and junior kindergarten art, students develop and improve their motor skills while learning about the world around them. The focus of art lessons for kindergarten through 2nd grade is to explore a wide variety of materials, techniques and processes while learning the basics of art (the elements and principles), and practicing problem-solving and creative-thinking skills. In 3rd through 5th grade art, students continue to hone their skills, participate in more comprehensive investigations of art history, and apply all of this knowledge to considered and comprehensive art projects.
The Middle School visual arts program fosters the skills our students need to express themselves creatively and to become life-long appreciators of art. The middle school visual arts curriculum teaches students about their artistic heritage by introducing them to the work of many famous artists and artwork from different cultures around the globe. Through the study of these great works, our students are challenged to use and develop their art vocabulary and their observational skills; learning to see and to critically evaluate art is a key component of LCDS's arts education. Middle School Art classes are studio based. Students work with a variety of media in both two and three dimensions as they build and hone their perceptual and technical skills.
The Visual Arts program in the upper school features an extensive range of trimester courses. From foundational two-dimensional and three-dimensional courses to advanced studies, students achieve higher levels of analytical and conceptual thinking all the while being grounded in the fundamentals of technique.
There is something for everyone. Students may explore the full variety of offerings or focus on an area of technical interest. In all cases students are guided into and through the unique realm of creative processing thus expanding their sensory perceptions and analytical abilities. Guidance is available for the students interested in pursuing a career in the visual arts. Students who are not pursuing visual arts but have taken many classes with enthusiasm, are also encouraged to prepare portfolios for college admissions; this strengthens the college application by demonstrating a broad scope of interests.