Visual Arts Department

Lauren Spooner
Director of Arts & Languages
Email Lauren Spooner
973-457-2505 x2077 

The essential intent of the School District of the Chathams is to discover and grow the gifts within each child. The Visual Arts Department accomplishes this intent by providing students with the opportunity to build upon their existing artistic and collaborative skills in a supportive, enriching, and inspirational environment.

Department Overview

Primary Visual Art:

Over a three-year experience, every student in grade one, two, and three receives weekly sequential learning experiences in an early childhood Visual Art education program that encompasses art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and production. Art concepts are reinforced and strengthened through activities based on the elements of art and principles of design. Throughout the program, students actively engage in various forms of communication, utilizing a rich art vocabulary and variety of technological resources.

Intermediate Visual Art:

Over a two year experience, every student in grades four and five will build upon the sequential learning experiences of the early childhood program. Students will meet once every six school days. Visual Art concepts are reinforced and strengthened through activities based on the elements of art and principles of design. Students analyze each component of their art education, in addition to their own personal growth, and make connections between Visual Art and other curricular disciplines. Through an exploration of a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles and sculpture, students build on the basic art-making skills learned at the lower elementary level, while developing critical and creative thinking skills.

Middle School Visual Art:

Over a three-year experience, students can select from a Cycle Art class and/or a Studio Art class in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The Cycle Art class meets seven out of every eight school days for one marking period, while the Studio Art class meets approximately every other day for two marking periods. Students continue to expand their knowledge of visual art concepts, as well as historical and cultural implications of the art experience. A variety of mediums are utilized including ceramic, paper mache, plaster, acrylic, watercolor, printmaking, collage, pencil, charcoal, pastels, marker, and mixed media.

High School Visual Art:

The high school visual art education program strengthens student learning by engaging students in critical thinking, problem solving and higher order thinking. Beginning with Experiencing Fine Art, students are introduced to the elements and principles of design, which serve as the building blocks for future high school visual art courses. Projects are designed to teach concrete skills and technique, while allowing for the development of divergent solutions that enable students to infuse their own personal aesthetics and preference into the design. The high school course offerings utilize a variety of materials/mediums to allow each student to develop their own artist language. Students' progress by taking sequential 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional classes and students who choose to do so can culminate their learning with Advanced Placement (AP) 2-D or 3-D Studio Art during their senior year.

Course Progression