Art Vistas is a program designed to expose children to fine art and give them hands-on experience with art techniques. There are six lessons for each grade level from kindergarten to 5th grade. The curriculum is based on the Art Vistas Unlimited program developed by Union School District in 1984. (For more information about Art Vistas Unlimited, visit their wedsite at http://www.artvistas.org/about.html). Graystone uses an older version of the curriculum than the one described in their official website. Also, a few of our lessons have been modified or added over the years.
Art Vistas is completely run by parent volunteers or docents. There is no need for any art talent or knowledge on the part of the docent. There is a lesson notebook for each classroom. Each lesson is self-contained and has step–by-step instructions. A lesson is comprised of a set of fine art prints, which are shown and discussed with the class, followed by a hands-on art lesson. The students will experience a variety of art mediums over the six years at Graystone including, painting, pastels, oil pastels, tissue paper collage, ceramics and more. For a list of all the lessons by grade level, view the complete list of lessons.
Docents receive training twice a year in September and January, so they are familiar with the lessons they will be teaching the children. The training (on site at Graystone) usual takes about two hours and will cover lessons A, B and C in September and lessons D, E and F in January.
How much time does it take? and Scheduling lessons:
Outside of the training sessions mentioned above, docents can figure to spend about two hours to prepare, deliver and clean-up after each lesson. Classroom time is usually about one to one and a half hours. The specific schedule is established between the child’s teacher and the docent, so there is usually a fair amount of flexibility in scheduling lessons. With six lessons to teach during the year, you can figure to do about one Art Vistas lesson a month.