"Stand still and consider the wonderous work of God." Job 37:14

Philosophy of Visual Arts Education

God has created us in His image including the nature and ability to create. We are each a unique creation of God with a specific plan and purpose, way of seeing the world, and communicating, including visually in a unique way. God created us with the ability to express ourselves visually. We are surrounded by the beauty and variety of God's creation, and He has created us to be affected on a personal, spiritual, emotional, and even physical level by visual stimuli. The process of observing God's creation and creating can be a way of connecting with Him on a deeper level. There is also order and purpose to His design, and we can see, appreciate, and emulate these characteristics in our visual design choices. Our culture is increasingly visually based (media, advertising, functional design), and students need to understand how to interpret and use visual media in ways that bring glory to God. Our purpose is to glorify God, and the visual arts are another way to serve this purpose.

Visual arts also promotes an understanding of human nature across cultures and time, fosters communication, perception/aesthetic awareness, and creativity. The visual arts also can be used to enhance learning in all areas of the curriculum.

Through visual arts, students will be able to problem solve through a variety of choices as well as learn various techniques to produce visual images and communicate their ideas and emotions. Students will learn to look for further meaning in visual art. Students will also learn to appreciate aesthetics of God's creation and subsequently visual art. Through visual arts, students make decisions, develop discipline, promote originality, and experience new ways of thinking and seeing, allowing construction of personal meaning from experience and building confidence/motivation.

The four components or content areas of visual arts are:

1. AESTHETICS - What is art? Understand one purpose of art is creating beauty. Appreciate each work as unique individual creation. Observe, listen, discuss art and perceptions. Understand artistic choices and how they relate to and enhance life. Encourage taking risks and trying new ideas.

2. ART CRITICISM - How is visual art organized? What to look for involves viewer interaction with image, looking closer, resulting in aesthetic experience. Organized discussion about art, whether from artists from many cultures and time periods or personal art.

3. ART HISTORY - Learning about art by understanding people in relation to times and places created including beliefs, values, customs, social habits, economic conditions, etc. Understand how beliefs are or are not consistent with Christianity.

4. ART PRODUCTION AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION - Communicate ideas visually through creative use of materials and production processes (collage, drawing, fibers, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, 3D forms, technology) utilizing elements and principles of design.

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