Most of human history has been recorded using some form of visual artwork. It could be an indigenous painting in a rock shelter in the Grampians, a classic Roman statue, street art found in the laneways of Melbourne or a digital animation screened on You Tube. Art surrounds us in some form every day, so appreciating art is an important element in a balanced education.
Purpose Built Art Room
Hampton has a large, light filled, purpose built art room complete with a kiln for firing clay work, Macintosh computers and access to an interactive whiteboard. Each week, every class has a session of hands-on art making. New projects often begin with discussing and responding to the work of a relevant artist, for example indigenous painter, Ginger Riley. Students might identify the techniques he used and find out why he always chose to paint the place where he grew up. Investigating historical and contemporary artworks allows students to discover the important role of visual art in shaping societies and cultures.
Students enjoy experimenting with lots of materials and techniques. We model with clay, papier-mâché, wire and fabric, paint using acrylics, water colour and ink and draw using markers, pastel, chalk and pencil. When making art, children are encouraged to think about colour, texture, shape and scale. They might discover how colour can be used to represent feelings or can be used to make an element stand out or recede. Even in primary school, considering design, or the organization of elements, is an important part of expressing ideas. For example, a younger child might choose to draw her family with one person much larger than the others because that person is the most important to her.
Artworks begin with a topic that relates to a student’s own experience or is interesting and relevant to the age of the child. For example, grade 5 and 6 have painted their role model and made sculptures of athletes from the 2012 London Olympics. Younger children might make a clay tile of their home or look closely at bugs to create a collage.
Beautiful Displays of Student Work
There are always beautiful displays of student work throughout the school during the year and toward the end of each year we celebrate and display work from every student in our Art Trail. Families are invited to come after school to see the work, enjoy some good food and watch student performances. Every second year, students are invited to participate in the Pink Lady Art Exhibition and grade 3-6 enrich their appreciation of art with guided tours to galleries which may include the NGV or McClelland Sculpture Park.