Studio Art

Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, and more

At Dutchess Day School, we know that the arts are vitally important to all children.  

Art making provides a powerful vehicle through which our students can construct meaning as they explore, process and express what they know, think and feel. In the art studio, students develop their technical skills and explore the expressive qualities of a variety of two and three-dimensional media including collage, painting, drawing and sculpture. Through guided exploration of these materials, we strive to foster a dynamic environment in which students are encouraged to take risks, make discoveries and find multiple solutions. Art projects are designed to be developmentally appropriate and open-ended in order to allow for experimentation and creative thinking.

A continuum…the DDS student’s art-making experience from PK-8th grade:

We believe in a spiraling curriculum where we constantly revisit themes and materials in order for our students to master the complexities of communicating through the visual arts. In Pre-K, artists will freely explore a wealth of different materials to better understand their physical and aesthetic properties. They will focus on mixing colors, building sculptures, composing collages and working in collaboration. In Kindergarten, students will be exposed to all types of art making including explorative introductions to painting, sculpture, drawing and collage. They will focus on adding details to their drawings, textures and layers to their paintings, building stable sculptures and complex collages. Their work will focus on mixing colors, drawing themselves and their worlds, and making things! In first grade, this work becomes more analytical…how can we help the viewer to understand who we are or where we are in a picture?  How can we mix colors to make new ones?  What factors affect the stability of a sculpture or the vibrancy of a color?  In 2nd and 3rd grade, projects become more challenging. Students will begin to draw from observation as well as from imagination. Work will become less explorative and more focused on conceiving of an idea and then taking that idea to fruition. In 4th grade, we’ll explore the idea of why artists make artwork?  We’ll investigate how we can use art making as a vehicle for conveying a specific idea or message.  We’ll also be encouraging students to find, celebrate and develop their own unique artistic style.
In grades 5-8, students choose art as their “co-curricular” class and that mixed age class meets 4 times per week on a 6-week cycle. This intensive experience allows for a deeper exploration of materials and methods. Classes include painting & drawing, sculpture, printmaking, set design, fiber arts and ceramics. Our beautiful studio is equipped with pottery wheels and kilns that allow us to work with clay to create both functional and purely aesthetic.  Throughout each cycle, we complete 1-2 projects that are multi-layered and complex. Overall, our goal is simple: conceive of a unique idea and then bring it to fruition. The process of getting from an idea to a finished piece of artwork poses many different challenges to our artists that we work to solve together through our discussions and subsequent work sessions.