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Art History - Course Options

Helping young children to love and create beauty.

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ART HISTORY IS A YEAR-LONG COURSE FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 7-12.

Being made in His image, God imparted to humanity the gift of creativity. The record of virtually every culture is found in its art and by studying art history – an integrated exploration of history, science, mathematics, philosophy, and the Scriptures. Art History is taught through a biblical lens and covers a general survey of Western perspective, from the caves of Lascaux to the artists of the twenty-first century. Readings, in-depth slide presentations, writing projects, and art projects will help students learn to "read" and analyze significant works of the past and build artistic literacy in our present culture. Homework will be approximately 2-3 hours per week. Offered in You Teach and Live Online formats, this course is sure to inspire students with the significant role art has played throughout the ages.

The Veritas Approach to Art

 

Young children are almost without exception “drawn” to art (pun intended)! Their innate curiosity and wonder about the entire creation naturally extends to wanting to capture it in vivid colors on paper. So a formal, comprehensive art program is essential to a classical education from a Christian worldview. Introducing children to the visual arts and training them how to capture beauty addresses the third part of the invaluable trivium of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Done properly, a classical art course uses the God-given way children learn and acquire skills (mostly through imitation), and thereby come to create and appreciate beauty. In keeping with Veritas’ commitment to and use of students’ characteristics at each stage of growth, in our art program we apply the following approach:

Maturing children want to “get it right” in art. They want to present their best in the junior high years, so we introduce and practice more precise techniques. They discover the capabilities of various tools and get many opportunities to practice the right ways to use them. They like knowing the “secrets” of making the tools work well. They learn to apply the basic “elements of art,” e.g., line, shape, texture, balance, etc. in more complex ways than they did when younger. They like being able to produce a certain look, practicing with various objects, differing techniques, and color experimentation. We link recognition of beauty with an appreciation for creation. This is an appropriate time to address clear, biblical principles (e.g., Phil. 4:8) for evaluating art works (old and new), and ask questions related to the meaning and worth of an artistic message, techniques/skills displayed, etc.



Grade

Live Course

You Teach Course

K-2*

N/A

Art (K-4th)

3

Art I - Grammar

Art (K-4th)

History of Art

4

Art I - Grammar

Art II - Grammar

Art (K-4th)

Art (5th-6th)

History of Art

5 - 6

Art II - Grammar

Art (5th-6th)

History of Art

7-12

Art History

Art Studio I

Art Studio II

N/A

*History of Art is sometimes taught in second grade by those using the course in conjunction with the history courses.

 

Simply put, creation is our best model for what God considers beautiful and fitting for imitation and meditation. This doesn’t limit a student’s scope—just the opposite. Creation, including man’s shaping and use of it (as seen in historical events, architecture, landscapes, everyday life), provides us with an almost inexhaustible source of subjects. Principles in God’s Word guide our study of art history, which includes the examination of the best works of artists in the past (most of them non-Christians). We “plunder the Egyptians” and recognize that, self-consciously or not, these artists gave glory to God through beautifully reflecting His light, color, balance, atmosphere, and other true and accurate displays of His character in the work of the creation.

 

Systematic, encouraging exposure to God-honoring use of creative skills calls to the heart and mind of a child: seeing and appreciating with the heart, understanding and emulating with the mind (eye and hand). Creatively using trained skills to portray a unique vision is the appropriate work of an artist. Glory to God, not oneself, should be the primary goal of all Christian artists. This conviction, combined with skill and the love of real beauty, will set Christian students and artists on a path that will restore great art It will even win over the relativistic, humanistic view of art today.

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