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Below represents some of the Essential Concepts and Understandings delivered to students through the Visual Arts curriculum in North Allegheny School District.

Elements and Principles of Visual Art
  • Artists use the Elements of Art as the basic building blocks to create art.
  • Artists use the Principles of Art to organize the Elements of Art in creating art.
  • Artists create art that is compelling and evokes an aesthetic response.
  • Artists use the Elements & Principles of Art to describe, challenge, express, and stimulate creativity.
  • The Elements & Principles of Art become a common vocabulary to discuss art.
Media, Tools, Techniques, and Processes
  • Artists learn to properly use media, tools, techniques and processes to produce works of art.
  • Artists make choices about how to use media, tools, techniques and processes to achieve aesthetic and creative goals in a craftsman-like manner.
  • Viewers of art need to understand how media, tools, techniques and processes are used to achieve aesthetic goals.
  • The study and creation of art provides opportunities for cross-curricular learning.
  • Art exists as a unifying part of the human experience in our world.
Original Thought and Creativity
  • Creative habits of the mind are developed through artistic processes (e.g., flexible, fluent, elaborate, and original thinking).
  • Artistic processes lead to the confident exercise of creativity in all areas of work and life.
  • Creative processes are enhanced by group collaboration.
  • The visual arts provide opportunity for experimentation and exploration.
Perception, Expression, and Imagination
  • The arts provide a medium to understand and exchange ideas.
  • Artists use their own ideas, perceptions, and experiences to create art.
  • Every person has imagination which is not bound by age, time, place, or past experience.
  • An art work is more than the sum of its parts; it has a quality that transcends the Elements and Principles of Art.
  • The display of artwork provides the opportunity for response, the exchange of ideas, inspiration, site enhancement, pride in craftsmanship, etc.
Historical and Cultural Contexts
  • People express experiences and ideas using visual art throughout time and across cultures.
  • Studying art works provides a context for understanding a culture, its people, and their ideas.
Aesthetic Response
  • People and cultures form different ideas about the value and purpose of visual art.
  • Artists have various functions in society (e.g., humanitarian, utilitarian, critic, and entertainer).
  • Art communicates through vivid sensory experiences.
  • The brain processes information through imagery.
Critical Response
  • People can analyze, respond to, evaluate and interpret art work.