We've all heard of standards. Normally, that would make you think of math tests and reading comprehension. Did you know that art has standards too?  New York State has a comprehensive set of standards that all art programs must implement and meet.  The standards are designed so that your children can become conversant in the vocabulary of art and acquire an understanding of artistic concepts.  This is more and more important as visual presentations are fast becoming the way in which our society communicates.  In New York State, the art industry, including both the field of visual arts (advertising, film, interior design, etc.) and the field of musical arts (plays, soundtracks, composing) is one of the largest areas of employment. Most large companies have an art department.

What are the New York State Standards?

Standard 1:  Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts
Standard 2:  Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources
Standard 3:  Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art
Standard 4:  Understanding the Cultural Dimensions and Contributions of the Arts.

Every single lesson that your child learns in art class has a written lesson plan that details the way the New York State Standards will be met. For instance, when your child brings home an adorable winter collage of snow and people playing, he or she has learned how perspective (the way distance is shown on a flat surface) can be achieved by overlapping objects and by the size and the position of the elements on the page. They have also learned about foreground and background. Not only are your children learning these concepts by the end of a project, they are usually well acquainted with the proper artistic vocabulary.

As part of meeting the New York State Standards, art teachers also incorporate examples of master artists' work into their lessons so that your children will develop a rich appreciation of art.  They also teach lessons that help your children foster an understanding of other cultures. Just as everyone who plays school sports will not go on to become a professional athlete, not every child will go on to become an artist.  A love of art can bring joy that lasts a lifetime.