Art has always been at the center of great cultures as a natural part of human experience and learning. The Mullen Public Schools art program seeks to instill in students a significant insight in the visual arts. Comprehensive, well-organized school art programs guide students in their personal discovery of the visual arts. Students explore the many ways art contributes to culture and examine the power of art to raise social consciousness.
Participation in strong art programs develops powerful skills of observation and engenders true appreciation of the role of art in society. In addition, art exercises students’ critical and creative thinking processes, helping them articulate and solve problems in multiple ways. Through the study of art and artists of different cultures and historical periods, students gain significant understanding of themselves and others. They learn to view art as a reflection of cultural ideas, beliefs, and social conditions and develop thinking and verbal skills through discussions in which life and art are compared and contrasted.
Importantly, art also enables students to communicate in highly effective, non-verbal media. Art educator and scholar, Elliot Eisner, points out that art education is the only area in the school curriculum explicitly concerned with the visually expressive and the visually relational. Art focuses on the primacy of the visual features of the environment, including works of art.
The demands of the 21st century require today’s students to live and work in a rapidly changing technological society. Through art education, students develop visual literacy, learning to perceive and respond to the visual world with increased awareness and discriminating judgment. Education in the visual arts must have a significant place in a balanced school curriculum. Comprehensive art curricula should be conceptually based, sequentially developed and focused on both creative and critical thinking to enable students to become self-confident, self-governing, and contributing members of society.
The art department adheres to the belief that students can find pleasure and fulfillment both as a maker and a perceiver of art. To achieve this, all students must know that art is thoughtfully created and must be able to:
Arrive at plausible meanings and resolve ambiguities in works of art.
Inquire into the relationships among art, history, and cultures.
Investigate the origins and traditions of art.
· Inquire about the nature and functions of the art world and art Institutions.
· Engage in philosophical inquiry about the connections between art and human experiences.
· Use works of art to reflect on personal beliefs and consider cultural values and human needs.
· Create works of art with a sense of purpose and a continually improving technical skill.