The arts serve as the primary signature of a culture, carrying our individual and collective images and ideas from one generation to another. The arts are a distinctive way of understanding and give purpose to learning; they provide tools for interpreting life's experiences. For children specifically, the arts develop a child's identity and sense of self-worth. The integrity of a Visual Arts curriculum depends on its diversity, integration, and exploration of creative problem solving. Art education encourages a student to affect his/ her environment. The whole child as an artist is guided to share his/her feelings and impact others while encouraging self-discipline. Art is a vehicle for knowing and understanding the world and our heritage. It is active experiential learning in a meaningful context. So as you can see, Art is an essential part of the IPA curriculum.
Component outcomes and suggested activities are based on six Design Elements: Line, Color, Shape and Form, Texture, Space, and Value; and seven Design Principles: Unity, Balance, Rhythm, Repetition, Variety, Emphasis, and Proportion. These are the foundations of the IPA Art Department and are revisited in all other art classes.
Rew Van Wyck, IPA's Art Teacher, focuses the students' attention on giving back, recycling, and the “what if” factor. We have been involved with several community projects and plan to continue our community service efforts. Students learn how to create something from out of the "oddities." Not only because of tight budgets, but because it's earth friendly. The students also are encouraged to pursue their inquisitiveness about art. Art teachers do not have all the answers; through art education, we will explore the answers together.