The Somers Central School District Visual and Performing Arts department believes that the arts provide unique ways of knowing, creating, and being. As a K-12 department, we will offer pathways that encourage all students to become lifelong participants in, and patrons of, the arts.
Through the Arts, students develop essential skills needed for success: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. The arts are therefore accessible and integral to all students.
As a critical component in the development of the whole child, we are committed to:
- · Providing students with a safe, supportive and challenging environment to explore, create and perform
- · Developing instructional practices that respect the multiple intelligences of each child
- · Embracing hands-on learning
- · Maintaining and fostering our partnerships with the community
- · Providing a variety of integrated arts experiences
SCSD Art Department Curriculum and Instruction
Guided by the NYS Learning Standards for the Visual Arts the Art Department’s curriculum begins with the introduction to the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, the basic grammar for understanding and analyzing artworks from across all cultures and time periods. Each step in every sequence builds from fundamental principles, to their application to specific art problems and develops the student’s preparedness for pursuing and promoting a life long appreciation for the arts.
With our hands-on classroom activities, students learn materials, tools, methods and art making techniques. They also discover their own innate non-linear, abstract problem solving capabilities: how to break down non-verbal problems into their separate components and understand their differences and relationships. These abstract problem-solving skills will serve them across the wider curriculum and in whatever career path they choose.
Our curriculum also incorporates art historical and cultural components with every lesson at every level. These not only make the student aware of past artists, styles and movements, but also situate their learning experiences within the continuum of the greater historical and cultural context. Along with production, they acquire the vocabulary for discussing and understanding the historical and cultural dimension of art objects, resulting in critical thinking skills necessary for analyzing, interpreting and judging works of art. This is the higher order thinking that is the ultimate aim of all education.
There’s never been a better economic environment in which to discover, develop and enhance artistic talent and ability:
- 3.34 million Americans work in the arts
- one in 111 jobs is in art and design
- jobs in design have increased 43% in the past ten years
The Art curriculum encourages active participation in learning and self-expression, developing awareness of the subject matter itself, as well as how it can be applied. Students who participate in the arts at the commencement level may consider pursuing a future in the field of art and are therefore exposed to possible careers in the arts while preparing portfolio quality work appropriate for gaining admission to college art and design programs.
SCSD Arts offers a wide range of courses that introduce students to a host of viable career paths for the commencement level, including Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration, Game Design, Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Film and Video, and Photography. The SCSD Arts Department prides itself on the multitude of higher level educational studies its students move on to in the field of Art/Design including; School of Visual Arts, Cornell’s Fashion Program, Art Institute of Chicago, Manhattanville College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Alfred University, Marist College, The School of Visual Arts, The College at New Paltz, The Fashion Institute of Technology, Cooper Union, and Savannah College of Art and Design, to name a few.