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The Sundance School - established 1977

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Visual Arts

The primary goal of the Art Program is to foster a love of art and creative self expression. Years of research show that a strong fine arts curriculum is linked to gains in math, reading, problem solving, and verbal skills. The Sundance Art teachers encourage the children to create with confidence and connect the universe with the world around them.

Lower School

Children have a natural love of shape, color, pattern and texture. All children enjoy the creative manipulation of materials. When children are encouraged to experiment with a wide variety of media under the guidance of an effective teacher they can benefit from increased self esteem and joy of self expression as well as a wide variety of other cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills.

Art activities include drawing, painting, clay, play dough, exploration with sand, water and other textures, collage (both individually and in a group) print making, and sculpture.

Children are gradually exposed to increasingly more challenging skills and experiences involving pleasurable sensorial activities. Teachers extend the children's natural abilities by acknowledging their efforts in a supportive, non-judgmental way and with descriptive remarks, i.e., "You used so many different lines and colors in your design," rather than "What is that?"

The Primary

The primary goal of the workshop is to foster a love of art and encourage creative self expression. Many studies have shown that art can and should play a role in the education of young children. Art projects are usually related to the theme at Sundance, seasons, show time or can be tied into that activities that are occurring in the Language Arts and Math departments. The workshop tries to expose children to many mediums from painting, drawing, collage, and sculpture. "Free Art" is always encouraged and many different materials are readily available. The children are also introduced to the world of fine art with our 'Artist of the Month' projects. These projects expose children to fine art and art history while encouraging them to explore their own creativity!

The children are exposed to a more 'formal' drawing class where the basic elements of shape are introduced. The children are encouraged to draw using various mediums; including pencil, crayon, charcoal, and pastel. They are introduced to line, texture, composition, rhythm, and color. Gentle guidance and encouragement result in drawings that express confidence!

The Upper School

The Visual Arts program at Sundance is designed to provide a comprehensive arts experience that enriches the overall curriculum. Students are exposed to a wide variety of two-dimensional, three-dimensional and digital media projects. Students are also introduced to a multitude of artists from varying time periods and cultures with the “Artist of the Month” series. Many of the artists and art projects are intertwined with Sundance’s yearly themes in order to augment the thematic learning experience. Rounding out the arts program in the upper grades is a focus on aesthetic examination that encourages students to understand, discuss and analyze a variety of art forms. Using the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards as a guideline, the Visual Arts program helps students to explore their creativity and develop their abilities to understand, produce and appreciate art.