top of page



Art is a means of self-expression and communication involving our emotions as well as logical thought for informed judgments. Our elementary students develop skills in problem solving, self-discipline, how to collaborate with others, and the manipulation of media and processes to create works that communicate personal meaning.

We have been fortunate to have Christine Brando fill in for Mrs. Goldenberg during her leave.  Ms. Brando is a Parsons School of Design alumnus that has spent 15+ years as an Industrial Designer creating innovative consumer products across many industries. Ms. Brando’s passion for art and design has been inspiring CES students to express their voice and creativity in their artwork.  


We started studying the elements of art: line, shape, color, and value and looked at how artists such as, Kandinsky, Picasso, Van Gogh, Da Vinci and Britto used those elements in the creation of their artwork. These artists became the inspiration for different ways to use the elements of art within our own artwork.


Line: All grades explored different types of lines found in the world around us as well as in various examples of artwork.  We then created our own artwork using many of these lines. Grades 3-5 worked on a Typography project that showed how line and shape are related to design. Our challenge was to choose a letter and design a leaf around the letter that shows the same visual language. For example, a bold, jagged letter shape would be represented as the leaf shape. 


ShapeKindergarten made shape caterpillars and named them. Students also made shape containers. We learned about overlapping shapes and what they create when they overlap, another shape! For grade 3-5, we created containers that we would take if we were traveling to a deserted island. This created a challenge of how to enclose shapes within another shape.  Students packed a wide variety of items such as favorite books and sports equipment.

ColorIn Kindergarten, we added on to our work with shapes by adding colored shapes that repeat. Our inspiration for this came from looking at the work of Kandinsky. Grades 1-5 looked at the work of Mondrian and created Mondrian Art Hearts which combined our study of line with the incorporation of color.

Value: We created artwork inspired by Brazilian artist Romero Britto, drawing pumpkins, spiders and ghosts with graphic patterns and bold colors, incorporating color value (the lightness and darkness of a color).

CES letter art 1.png
Chase O Kindergarten.png
CESAllison Talbot 5th Grade- value2.jpg
Craig Rainbow Caterpillar Kindergarten.j
Olivia Freemon- Grade 1- Heart Art.jpeg
CESLuke Kindergarten.png
CES letter art.png
Melissa Good Mondrian Art Heart (1).jpg
Kandinsky shapes Lila Newman.jpg
We started studying the elements of art: line, shape, color, and value and looked at how artists such as, Kandinsky, Picasso, Van Gogh, Da Vinci and Britto used those elements in the creation of their artwork.      -Ms. Goldenberg
Kindergarten artists explored the colorful work of Vincent van Gogh. Using shape, line, color, pattern and texture, artists created vivid still-life compositions inspired by van Gogh’s Sunflowers series. Techniques were used such as overlapping and  wax resist with crayon and watercolor paint. An introduction to value (light and dark in color) and close observation of the colors of sunflowers allowed artists to blend colors in the flowers, stems, and leaves.
Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 10.20.17
Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 10.34.10 PM co
First Grade artists are exploring the work of Paul Klee along with geometric shape, color, and architecture. Students “built” structures by drawing shapes in creative ways, separating squares into triangles or circles into semi circles, etc.  Geometry as well visual organization of shapes challenged students in creating their architectural compositions! .Coloring techniques using crayons and markers gave the compositions a bright, bold and imaginative feel.
Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 10.56.26 PM co
Second & Third Grade artists observed the Pop art style of contemporary artist, Romero Britto. After examining his work and discussing facts about the artist, students learned about form and what is “2D” and how it is different from “3D.” Using optical illusion drawing skills, pumpkin-themed pieces were created using inspiration from Britto’s work. Background as well as foreground were used along with creating contrast to emphasize design. 
Fourth Grade & Fifth Grade artists discussed the importance of being mindful and aware of emotional state, especially during these current times. Connections to the mood meter and breathing exercises helped guide students to think about what they value in this world and how it can be incorporated into art to promote wellness.  Cultural connections and exploration of how mandalas are created and used around the world inspired artists to make mandalas using radial symmetry. Careful design and consideration went into the art making process as each artist created a personally meaningful mandala. 
Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 11.16.32 PM co
See more GFS artwork on our online gallery at GFS Art Gallery.

At KHS, we have been having a lot of fun exploring the elements of art together.  The students have been working on their art assignments in a sketchbook which has allowed them to go back and reflect on their work and continue along on their assignments in one cohesive place.  I began the year by sharing my personal artist sketchbooks and how I utilize a sketchbook to prepare and plan for my own work.  When we learn about artists we also talk about how they use planning sketches before completing their work as well.  During each class, we make sure to have time to share our work with one another.  It has been wonderful to have this time to connect through our artwork.


So far we have explored different kinds of line by looking closely at the work by Vincent van Gogh.  We talked about warm and cool colors and created cool landscapes and a warm still life.


Discussing organic and geometric shapes helped us to prepare to create our Shape Monsters inspired by the book “Glad Monster, Sad Monster“ by Ed Emberley.  His monsters illustrate great examples of emotions created by using both organic and geometric shapes.  We will continue this work with connecting it to the Mood Meter.  

Inspired from Elise Gravel’s book “I want a Pet Monster”  4th-5th grade students thought about character development and illustration.  First answers some questions about their creature before they illustrated it.


4th and 5th grade students also made sculptures inspired by Andy Goldsworthy.  Students collected, sorted and composed non permanent sculpture out of found materials.


Ms. Austermann has been keeping the students engaged in critical thinking and problem solving throughout their varied art assignments. Here are just a few examples. 


Starting with the basics, Kindergarten has been learning about line, shape and color. With nature as an inspiration they drew line acorns and fall trees learning about the horizon line and how trees grow drawing branches that reach out. They learned about primary and secondary colors and created their own abstract and found object color wheels!  We recently discussed why portraits are made and learned the basic proportions of our head, neck and shoulders. After viewing various different artistic styles, the students drew a portrait of someone important to them.The portraits will be followed up with a lesson on body proportion.

kinder found object color wheel  3 (1).j
kinder fall tree student sample.png
kinder found object color wheel  2.jpg
Kinder found object color wheel.jpg
Second and Third graders were introduced to Fauvism though  and were tasked with completing bright colored landscapes that focused on using foreground, middleground and background. Then they were introduced to one of the founders of Abstract art Russian artist Wassily Kandinski. They learned about composition and color balance using overlapping organic and geometric shapes.
KandinskyJames grade 3.png
4th and 5th grade have been busy expressing themselves by creating original emojis and further diving into how color affects emotion in art. They utilized problem solving skills as they morphed elements to create new creatures in a monster mash up, and are currently working on a Pop Art piece in the theme of hope and happiness inspired by the work of Romero Britto which will utilize line, shape pattern and flat color.
At the start of the school year, the entire school was given the community assignment of creating a painted rock fish for our There's Only One You outdoor rock garden river.      -Ms. Austermann
Artists use the elements of art (line, shape, color, space, etc.) as building blocks to construct their work and to communicate to their audience. Students collected and categorized lines and shapes that they noticed inside and outside their homes. Next students developed personal responses to their favorite lines and shapes by choosing either to 1) develop an interesting composition incorporating their favorite lines and shapes or 2) to create an unexpected surprise with their lines and shapes. Older students were further challenged to explore the expressive qualities of lines, shapes and color and to make a connection with a feeling or emotion. Both 2-dimensional and 3- dimensional solutions were shared when each student presented their artwork to their peers. Feature artists introduced included Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and many more!
_Beautiful Bacteria_shape
SES Communicating with Line 10.png
SES Communicating with Line 9.png
SES Communicating with Line 6.png
*See student artwork from the Middle Schools & Staples High School
bottom of page