I graduated from Cornell University with a BFA in Painting in 1982. Like many artists, I decided that I needed a steady income and health insurance, so I went to graduate school to learn to be an art teacher.  I taught art after I graduated from Boston University in 1985 with an MFA in Studio Teaching, until I retired in June 2023.  These web pages are my attempt to capture as much of my art curriculum as possible, and my hope is that other art teachers will be able to use the site as a resource. 

My philosophy: 

All art lessons are sufficiently open ended to encourage individual problem solving at appropriate developmental levels. While the design of the art lessons directs students toward a specific concept or lesson objective, one of the unique aspects of the art curriculum is that there is never a "right answer". Student artwork is not supposed to look a certain way, or to replicate a teacher's or another artist's work. Instead, problem solving and end product belongs to each individual student. At all levels, art lessons aim to encourage students to consider these questions:

  • What is my idea?

  • What do I know about this material?

  • How can I use what I know about this material to communicate my idea?

  • What visual strategies do I know, or what are some new ones I can discover?

  • What can I learn from my classmates during the process?

If art is a visual language, each art material is a dialect within that language, with specific qualities that kids need to explore, discover, and practice, in order to become competent enough to use the materials to communicate their own ideas. Thus, the site is organized by media, rather than grade or age level. Each material is organized by grade level, however, as the curriculum builds on experience from Kindergarten through Grade 5. 

How to Talk to Kids About Their Art Work

10 Lessons The Arts Teach by Elliot Eisner