The art program at the School of Saint Mary is based on four interrelated content areas: aesthetic perception, creative artistic expression, art history and art criticism. Learning in each area supports and improves learning in the other area.

Topics introduced in the early grades are reintroduced in later grades, but studied in greater depth or in new contexts and relationships. The art program has three objectives: to create art, to look at art, and to live with art.


Grades K and 1

  • Identify visual elements such as line, color, shape, texture and their sensory qualities
  • Develop a vocabulary for art
  • Create art based on personal experiences as well as imagination
  • Acquire fundamental skills for using basic art media
  • Learn to see and discuss artwork from different cultures and eras
  • Identify art in their surroundings
  • Learn to look at artworks and discuss them in an enjoyable and interesting way

Grades 2 and 3

  • Develop increased perceptual skills and a meaningful basic art vocabulary
  • Develop awareness that observations of the environment have inspired artists
  • Develop personal interpretations of environment, activities and events
  • Acquire new skills to use familiar media in new ways
  • Continue to work with styles with more emphasis on the cultural origin and functions of artworks
  • Expand knowledge of types of artists and where they work
  • Learn to perceive and describe the subject matter, visual elements and mood in artwork
  • Continue to develop the skills of grades K and 1

Grades 4 and 5

  • Develop the ability to use different vantage points to observe scenes
  • Learn to perceive/describe subtle visual qualities such as lines, colors, shapes, textures and patterns
  • Learn to portray details, depict action and use the elements of art to express an idea or feeling
  • Develop flexibility and problem-solving skills in two and three dimensional media
  • Learn that studying art can be a lifelong pursuit
  • Develop concept of living with art through crafts, architecture and product design
  • Learn to perceive subtle visual qualities in artwork
  • Continue to develop the skills of grades 2 and 3

Grades 6, 7 and 8

  • Introduce multi step techniques in working with two and three dimensional media
  • Develop new skills in using media by problem solving and planned experiments
  • Incorporate principles of design
  • Expand knowledge of styles and eras with emphasis on recurrent themes and individual artists
  • Expand knowledge of selected styles and historical changes in American art and world cultures
  • Study the artistry involved in crafts, architecture and mass produced images
  • Learn and apply the four steps in art criticism
  • Lean that the judgment of artworks is relevant to its purpose or general style
  • Continue to develop the skills of grades 4 and 5

Special events and activities

  • Art show at Gilcrease