Phoenix Country Day School elementary art classesThe Lower School Art program focuses on developing children’s inherent drive for self-expression.  At all grade-levels, students are exposed to many types of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and clay.  Formal guidelines are balanced with opportunities for individual decisions and explorations.  In kindergarten, students increase their dexterity and begin learning how to combine large and small shapes, enabling a wider expressive range.  Students gain familiarity with various tools and learn techniques to increase the clarity of their images.  First graders develop their abilities to untangle or create complex images by exploring the idea of progressing from large to small.  Their awareness of subtlety and details is developed as they begin learning how to draw, while observing and practicing eye-hand coordination.  Real objects are used to enable students to develop skills of observation, as well as their ability to interpret and imagine.  Students in second through fourth grades work on three-step projects using source images in order to work through specific stages and utilize different types of media.  This helps learners deepen their understanding of the unique advantages and limitations of each material and tool used.  In each progressive grade-level, children develop skills of observation and appreciation, as well as the courage and imaginative zeal needed to personalize and relish their own interpretive and expressive abilities.