Visual Arts

"Art is both love and friendship and understanding; it is the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of things. It is more than kindness, which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty. . . ."
—Letter to Cedric Wright from Ansel Adams

The visual arts have been vital to all cultures and civilizations, communicating ideas, customs, traditions, and beliefs by providing a window through which the visual record of the peoples, places, and circumstances in the past can be observed. They help human beings organize and make sense of what they observe and experience. The visual arts appear in many forms, including traditional and contemporary painting and drawing, sculpture, installations, photography, ceramics, folk arts, crafts, new media and electronic technology.

Through study and the experience of producing works of art, students learn the basic visual arts vocabulary, based on the elements of art and the principles of design. Artists and art students at any grade level work with the elements of art: line, color, shape, texture, form, and space. With the application of the principles of design, such as harmony, balance, rhythm, dominance, and subordination, artists create unique and original statements. The resulting art can be joyous or sad, funny or somber, calm or powerful and can depict everyday reality or the imagination or dreams of the artist.

Irvine Unified School District supports the visual arts at the Elementary, Middle, and High School level. Program synopses can be found below:

Elementary School Art

Middle School Art

High School Art

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