Drawing a Storyboard
Kids in Art Class

Upper Elementary Art Program

The mission of our upper elementary program (ages 9-12) is to encourage creative problem-solving, fostering artistic exploration and experimentation, and for students to develop critical thought and to support their interpretations and opinions as they respond to art.

Courses are eight weeks long, and the first five weeks are guided lessons to exercise or hone techniques, where students focus on both process, techniques, and product based work.  Once they have learned the techniques or materials, they are encouraged to brainstorm, problem-solve, research, explore and experiment to make individual and innovative works of art.  In these last three weeks, teachers provide guidance and support as students use the tools and lessons that they have learned to create their own art. What emerges from the courses is a technical skill, but also a confidence in their own art-making and creativity.  

We end each class with a “group share” or critique experience.  Here students practice the language of art and design, have a sense of community, and receive positive reinforcement for their work.  Students may share a larger piece they are working on, a piece from home, or a sketchbook exploration.   

Sketchbooks are given to each student to collect and store ideas that will become starting points for works of art in the future. These visual journals allow students to enhance their skills of observation and image-making in order to process more detailed information. Some examples of sketchbook activities are illustrating poems and short stories, designing and illustrating commercial advertisements, observational drawings, photo collages, and mixed media experimentation.

A goal for the (9-12) program is to have three group trips each year; one in the fall, winter, and spring.  Branching out to explore the city and connect our lessons with the outside.  Group trips may be at a community garden, the James C Veen Observatory,  Rosa Parks Circle, or other in and around the Grand Rapids area. The trips are thematically designed to engage children in art/science/nature beyond the classroom walls, and we will practice art skills like urban sketching or plein air painting.  

Occasionally, a guest artist will come to visit the classroom to demonstrate a unique craft or skill. Some ideas of artists may include a video game designer, regionally exhibited printmaker, interior designer, museum curator, or fashion designer. This experience further develops their understanding that art is everywhere, and expands their horizons of art as a career.  

 

Classes are very small, with 12 students to 1 teacher. 

 

Classes are 90 minutes long, run for 8 week sessions, and are weekly. 

Current Courses for Upper Elementary 

Courses are labeled with the location. Courses at East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation require registration through their website, and requires making a free account.  If you have any questions with registration, please email education@cultivategrandrapids.org

Comic Book Drawing

In this class, kids will create learn to create and draw dynamic characters and stories. We will learn different styles of drawing - including manga, Marvel, and Pixar, and more!

Schedule: Monday-Thursday, July 25-July 28, 11:15-12:15pm

Location:  East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation

Board Game Design

In this class, students will design and create their own board game! 

Schedule: Monday-Thursday, Aug 1-Aug 4, 10:00-11:00am

Location:  East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation

Intro to Fiber Art 

In this intro class, we will explore fiber art! Each week is a different exploration of fiber art - weaving, fiber dyeing, needle felting, or cross-stitch bookmarks.

Schedule: Monday-Thursday, Aug 8-Aug 11, 11:15-12:15pm 

Location:  East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation

Comic Book Drawing

In this class, kids will create learn to create and draw dynamic characters and stories. We will learn different styles of drawing - including manga, Marvel, and Pixar, and more!

Schedule: Monday-Thursday, Aug 15-Aug 18, 11:15-12:15pm

Location:  East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation

"I LOVE photography! I always took pictures with my phone, but didn't know anything like this.  I want to do every class!" 

 - Twelve-year-old student after learning film photography

"I didn't know art could BE like this!" 

- Nine-year old student

"Thank you! My daughter walked away from this class with a new confidence in herself and in art. She's been showing us her work every day and is drawing all the time now!

- Parent of nine-year-old student 

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