Written by Ms. Bardwell, Arts & Extracurricular Coordinator
Unlike music, where talent is passed on through genetics, art is developed over time with lots of practice. Along with developing fine motor skills, art students also learn how to see. It is the learning to see that takes children from painting trees with brown trunks and big green blobs for leaves to rendering them as an architectural wonder with thousands of shades of brown, grey and green in their barks and individual leaves of varying hues of green.
While most schools embrace curriculums that lead the students to study famous artists, Horizon Academy focuses more on the artistic process. Rather than paint a picture like Monet, the students will instead explore how watercolor moves on wet paper.
Through the process of exploration and discovery, students are able to test the limits of different media. There is no pressure to end up with a “good” picture, sculpture or pot. Instead we focus on the experience that took place in its creation and then the response that the work evokes from its viewers. Is it funny? Does it show movement? Does it show emotion? Or, is it just fun to look at?
Art is a lifetime pursuit and if we allow ourselves to compare our work to others, including famous dead artists, it is easy to get discourage, define oneself as “not good” at art, and quit. Someone once described making art as the one place you can lose yourself and find yourself at the same time. This is what we nurture at Horizon Academy.