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2016: The Year of the Artist’s Journey

February 17, 2016 | By Rachel Zink

Every year, our dedicated and creative staff of teachers work together to plan a curriculum full of art projects that are engaging, unique, educational and fun! Having monthly themes, for example, helps narrow down which materials and ideas we want to offer to our students to explore. This year, we’re doing something a little different: we’ve chosen a theme for the entire year and organized our lessons around four quarterly units, giving kids a chance to explore ideas over the course of months or even the whole year.

It is with great pleasure, enthusiasm – and yes, inspiration – that we present 2016 as the Year of the Artist’s Journey.

In Unit 1—already under way—we are teaching lessons that invite our young artists to REFLECT—on themselves, their histories, their ambitions and aspirations, their surroundings. We’ll be creating artwork that’s personal and introspective, so we’ll focus on portraits, home, vision, and perspective.

In Unit 2, starting in April 2016, Arts For Life teachers will teach lessons that encourage students to find ways to use art to CONNECT to the people and places around them.  Young artists will explore their families, communities, and environment during this unit.

During Unit 3, Students will spend July, August, and September creating artwork that helps them EXPLORE their global community. Setting the circle a little wider, lessons will focus on travel, adventure, and art and architecture from around the world.  We’ll get to know different cultures and the history of art throughout the world.

Finally, we’ll wrap up the year with Unit 4, when we’ll focus on lessons that leave the known world—the world we can see. Lessons will invite young artists to IMAGINE the outer limits of creativity, science, and the universe before coming back around to draw the connection about how all this relates to ourselves.

Within each month, we’ll break down the unit themes even further by focusing on three keywords or ideas that explore a different aspect of the unit theme. In February, our keywords are Journey, Perspective, & Biography. January was Vision, Home, & Place.

Check out one of our art table’s bulletin boards, so you can see how kids and families learn about the theme and keywords of the month:


Stay tuned for more about what our students are creating at Arts For Life’s art tables and bedside studios this year, as they embark on their artist’s journey.