Art education is integrated into both the general studies and Judaic programs and uses a multitude of techniques to engage the students.
Art history is the lineage that links time and cultures. From the compelling art of the Stone Age Lascaux caves to the striking patterns of Henri Matisse, from the desolate desert scenes of Georgia O’Keeffe to the forest installations of Andy Goldsworthy-influences reach out and cross over generations. As promising young artists, the more we find out about our history, the greater our chances for contributing to it. The students of Talmud Torah learn art history from Grade One. Exposure to Keynotes of major periods of art is coupled with lively discussion and is designed to teach students about the influences and forces that have acted upon artists, both famous and not so well known. As we travel through art history, we might find that we want to learn more. Students recognize and enjoy what they see, and bring to the art an intimate, working awareness. Familiarity builds confidence for honest appreciation. They won’t be intimidated by art and will be “art smart”; we can say with assurance, “We like what we know!” With this comes the invitation to a lifelong membership in the appreciation, enjoyment and making of art.
While not graded, the effort and enthusiasm with which students participate is examined. Through different mediums, instruction and exploration, students hopefully realize that we are all ‘artists’.
Colette Leisen is VTT’s Visual Arts Specialist.