Making, Interpreting & Learning
The visual arts program at Woodlawn engages students in making, interpreting, and learning about art in a meaningful way. Students learn skills, concepts, and ways of interacting with art that fosters an understanding of their own lives and the lives of others.
The students experiment with a variety of media and techniques, and learn to create artworks that not only demonstrate skills, but also thought and heart. In the art studio, students learn about new materials or techniques, then make choices about what materials and techniques they want to pursue in greater depth. They learn to think and work like real artists. As artists, they identify ideas and problems of interest, select appropriate media, and explore and work through mistakes and challenges until they are ready to perfect and create. When they have completed a project, they reflect on the success of their work and determine what they want to pursue next. The goal is not to produce “frame ready” artwork, but to engage students in authentic learning and creative-problem solving. The art curriculum is designed to enrich core classes through integrated themes.
Throughout our K-12 art program, we strive to cultivate an environmentally sustainable curriculum that utilizes reclaimed and recycled materials whenever possible, and to make meaningful connections with artists and artwork that address environmental issues.
Our Art Teachers
Middle School Art, Upper School Electives
As a founding teacher, Kim joined Woodlawn in 2002 and has pioneered interdisciplinary teaching in the middle school. She continually seeks opportunities to connect students with artists in the community. Kim is an avid traveler, having visited over 30 different countries and has led several student groups on international trips.
Layne has a lifelong passion for independent schools, growing up in a family of educators and graduating from Norfolk Collegiate School. During her time in graduate school, she discovered new ways to incorporate her love of art and environmental sustainability into the classroom through project-based learning. During her undergraduate studies, Layne studied 3D art including ceramics, woodworking, and metalworking.
Balancing Direct Instruction & Independent Learning
Lower School Art
The Lower School Art curriculum is a balance of direct instruction and independent learning. The art curriculum is also integrated with Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science throughout the school year. Confidence is continually fostered by giving students independence with choice of mediums and options in projects. Each class begins and ends on the carpet where lessons are introduced, and students reflect and share as a class. Class often begins with a demonstration of a new art technique or introduction of a new station such as drawing, weaving, printing or sculpture. Students then make a choice about which station they want to visit and what materials and techniques they want to pursue in greater depth. When the paint is cleaned up and the art is stored away, the students come back together to discuss what they discovered, to ask for advice on overcoming a challenge they faced, or to share what they created and why.
Self Reflection & Constructive Feedback
Middle School Art
The various areas of art and design the middle school students may choose to engage in are related to what they are learning about in other subjects, or influenced by local artists and community exhibitions. While learning about art, and developing skills and techniques, the students are guided by the Studio Habits of Mind: Develop Craft, Engage and Persist, Stretch and Explore, Observe, Express, Envision, Reflect, and Understand Arts Community. The students practice the studio habits and document their creative process while working through design problems they have chosen to pursue. Through self-reflection and constructive feedback, the students determine when their work is ready to be displayed, and together they decide how and where to present their original art pieces in multiple exhibitions throughout the year.
Art Studio, Theater Production & Design Projects
UPPER School Art
In Upper School, students have an opportunity to take part in learner-directed art studios, theater design and production, and design-thinking projects, which build upon the skills and art interests they have acquired in middle school. Students select the art or design studio class as one of their elective choices. The humanities program also provides students exposure to art history through written reflection and class discussions, as well as the opportunity to apply their art skills to projects.