At the Country School, we are committed to the idea that no education is complete without a rigorous and sensitive engagement with visual art. We believe that art is a fundamental support for a child’s successful education, growth and developing intellect. Incorporating art into their education sets the stage for the continued development of creativity throughout their lives.
The Country School art program uses two core concepts to organize activities: visual language and creative problem solving. By building these ideas into art studio activity, we assert that art is an academic discipline in dialogue with the other liberal arts. Students learn how the world is organized and how understanding is created by focusing on the visual and creative side of experience
In the Elementary School, the art curriculum focuses on the continuation of free play that is so fundamental to the early childhood experience of visual art. By engaging in materials play, students continue to trust their creativity. Students become confident and fully involved with their artistic side. By focusing on structure and intuition as guiding principles, we take advantage of the possibilities of emergent curriculum: one of the aspects that makes the educational experience at Country School so extraordinary.
We approach subject matter from a circular position. We revolve around core art concepts and genres to gain a richer understanding of these ideas. In our study of landscape, for example, we make drawings and paintings of the landscape in situ and bring found elements from the landscape into the studio to create sculptures. We also use these elements for a Bauhaus color exercise, as designed by the late Josef Albers. We use our study of the landscape to work collaboratively on a sculpture in the landscape. This affords the possibility of addressing teamwork and leadership skills. This interdisciplinary attitude toward art making is fundamental to the experience of art at TCS
The Middle School art curriculum focuses on “studio practice,” a phrase derived from the professional art studio and used to emphasize the interconnectedness of artwork and projects. The Middle School works intensely on design foundation concepts such as color and drawing, form and space and working independently on a series of projects. Towards the end of the first semester, the students create projects rooted in their personal interests but informed by our study in class. They formally propose ideas, which upon approval, they then execute and present to the class.