Home Experience Studio Arts

Why is Art Important to the Friends Academy Experience?

In art, students practice organizing, abstracting, and solving problems, all while expressing their ideas in creative ways. With art scheduled two days a week for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8, there is plenty of time for students to research, reflect, and experiment through art.

In Lower School, the art curriculum builds upon itself – allowing students to start in one place, reinforce their skills, and expand upon what they already know. They are exposed to many forms of art, including ceramics, sculpture, paint, print, and textiles. Students also draw inspiration from our 65-acre campus, often sketching outdoors and bringing natural materials back into the studio.

In Middle School, the curriculum progresses to study art through the lenses of observation, imagination, and memory, with drawing and sketching at the heart of everything. The Middle School art studio is a safe, relaxed space where students can try new things and make mistakes. At the end of every project, there is a group critique where students learn to reflect on and defend their work, ask questions, and have respectful dialogue with their peers.

Features of the Art Experience

  • Third grade students work with clay in art class.

    Regular Art Classes for All Students

    All students in Kindergarten through eighth grade have art twice a week. Early Childhood students visit the art studio once a week.

  • Lower School art teacher helps a third grade student with their project.

    Dedicated Art Faculty

    Lower School and Middle School each have their own art teacher – both professional art educators and artists with decades of experience.

  • Eighth grade students sit around a large table in the Middle School art studio.

    Two Art Studios

    A dedicated art studio for Lower School students (Early Childhood-Grade 4) and a separate studio for Middle School students (Grades 5-8).

  • A first grade student paints a ceramic bird figure they created in art class.

    Integration With Academic Curriculum

    Art faculty work with classroom teachers to support academic lessons through art – such as bird sculptures in first grade, scrimshaw in fourth grade, and Agents of Change portraits in fifth grade.

  • Ceramic Day of the Dead masks created in art class.

    Kiln

    Students create ceramic art, including coil bowls, animal figurines, and “scrimshaw,” using the studio kiln.

  • An eighth grade student paints their graduation tile with support from their teacher.

    Graduation Tiles

    In eighth grade, each student creates a tile expressing themselves and their interests. The tiles hang permanently at Friends Academy along with others from their graduation year.

  • A student sketching a tree outdoors.

    Access to Natural Scenery and Materials

    Both art studios open up to our 65-acre wooded campus, and nature is interwoven with many lessons. Students can sketch outdoors or collect natural materials to bring into the studio.

Meet the Art Faculty

The Studio Arts faculty at Friends Academy includes two art specialists. They get to know each child personally and work together with classroom teachers to include art as part of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary education.

  • Susan Cogliano, Lower School Art Teacher

    Susan Cogliano

    Lower School Art Teacher
  • John Borowicz, Middle School Art Teacher

    John Borowicz

    Middle School Art Teacher

Art Curriculum

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Early Childhood

  • Identify the basic elements of art (such as lines, colors, shapes, and textures) in two- and three-dimensional forms
  • Explore artistic methods and materials (including drawing, painting, clay, textiles, printmaking, and construction) to communicate ideas, express emotions, and make connections to the natural world around them
  • Discuss, plan, and brainstorm ideas; demonstrate effort and progress; and share thoughts and listen respectfully
  • Maintain proper care of tools and materials
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Kindergarten

  • Identify the basic elements of art (such as lines, colors, shapes, and textures) in two- and three-dimensional forms
  • Explore artistic methods and materials (including drawing, painting, clay, textiles, printmaking, and construction) to communicate ideas, express emotions, and make connections to the natural world around them
  • Discuss, plan, and brainstorm ideas; demonstrate effort and progress; and share thoughts and listen respectfully
  • Maintain proper care of tools and materials
grade1-art1

First Grade

  • Work with color, including mixing to inspire further exploration
  • Sketch and connect simple shapes
  • Recognize symmetry and asymmetry
  • Introduce artists and their styles/works of art
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Second Grade

  • Understanding of complementary and warm/cool colors and how they can be used to express mood
  • Develop recognition of balance in composition
  • Exploring building with hand tools such as a hammer and a nail
  • Use of lines to show patterns and textures
  • Practicing the process of weaving
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Third Grade

  • Identifying and discussing art from various world cultures
  • Introduction to basic sewing skills
  • Creation of texture rubbings, watercolor landscapes, 3D sculptures, and more
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Fourth Grade

  • Understanding of foreground, middle ground, and background
  • Recognizing color relationships (analogous and monochromatic)
  • Differentiating between realism and abstraction
  • Reflection on art-making process and an ability to assess their progress
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Fifth Grade

  • Explore many different modes of image making and personal expression through art
  • Develop powers of observation, memory, and imagination and use them as springboards to create artwork
  • Empower students to feel that anything is possible, want to try new things, and allow themselves to make mistakes
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Sixth Grade

  • Use and develop powers of observation, memory, and imagination as springboards to create artwork.
  • Introduce general concepts and basic techniques of drawing and design through units on still life, landscape, and portraiture.
  • Develop personal narratives and sequential artwork, including long-form comics and graphic novels.
  • Learn about the concepts of realism, abstraction, non-representation, and collaboration.
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Seventh Grade

  • Use and develop powers of observation, memory, and imagination as springboards to create artwork.
  • Introduce general concepts and basic techniques of drawing and design through units on still life, landscape, and portraiture.
  • Develop personal narratives and sequential artwork, including long-form comics and graphic novels.
  • Learn about the concepts of realism, abstraction, non-representation, and collaboration.
grade8_art1

Eighth Grade

  • Use and develop powers of observation, memory, and imagination as springboards to create artwork.
  • Introduce general concepts and basic techniques of drawing and design through units on still life, landscape, and portraiture.
  • Develop personal narratives and sequential artwork, including long-form comics and graphic novels.
  • Learn about the concepts of realism, abstraction, non-representation, and collaboration.