Because we strongly believe that art has the capacity to reach far beyond aesthetics to support rigorous intellectual inquiry, illuminate scientific and mathematical discoveries and concepts, and promote thoughtful conversations about the human condition we are currently piloting a new program, Artists in the Schools, that taps art’s academic and social potential while building a strong partnership with the Mariposa County Office of Education.
This program places trained teaching artists into all of Mariposa County’s 5th grade classrooms for 8-week residencies. These artists have worked with their respective classroom teachers to develop an arts infused, standards-aligned curriculum that teaches art in concert with at least one other academic subject. The residencies provide in-depth, hands-on visual arts and music experiences that develop students’ critical thinking and creative problem solving skills while challenging students to transfer knowledge across traditional subject areas boundaries. “Through viewing, making, and discussing art works, students come to realize that the arts do not exist in isolation, but are always situated within multiple dimensions, including time, space, culture, history, and [the sciences.]” (National Core Arts Standards: A Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning)
Here’s what’s going on during these 2017 spring residencies:
Greeley Hill, Lake Don Pedro Elementary, and Sierra Foothill Charter Schools are working with visual artists Jackie Baxton. Ms. Braxton curriculum explores the three-dimensional artwork (students will create and compare both a molded and sculpted model of their own hand) while also applying lessons about measurement/data, geometry, anatomy/bone structure.
Mariposa Elementary School is working with ceramic artists Phyllis Becker. Ms. Becker’s unit is titled “The Mud Beneath Your Feet,” and examines chemical reactions and the (mathematically measurable) dynamic effect they have on the molecular and atomic structure of matter through the creation of whimsical ceramic pieces. Students participate in hands-on, individualized classroom instruction, building pinch-pot creatures, ceramic plates, modules, and more.
Yosemite and El Portal Elementary host teaching artist Moira Donohoe building multimedia art books using paper marbling techniques, watercolors, block print, threading, and more. Ms. Donohoe combines multimedia instruction with a broad understanding of the cultural, natural, and historical interdependence of various art forms and encourages individualized creative development within each student.
Woodland Elementary School is working with visual artist, Bill Davis exploring elements of artist process, including progression of art history, practicing left and right hemisphere flexible thinking, how to draw, understanding systems of abstraction, and exposure to art career opportunities.
Debbie Croft: Combining art, education creates great rewards
An article about our 2016 Artists in the Schools program, focusing on the Sierra Foothill Charter School residency with ceramic artists Tiffany Newberry and Phyllis Becker.