Walking down the hallway at Grymes is like taking an Art History lesson. Famous artists are highlighted and their work is imitated in students' interpretations of a particular style. It is easy to see that the Art program at Grymes is extraordinary.
The hallways are filled with artwork demonstrating a variety of impressive works that show a surprising level of skill and creativity. Special projects have left the art room ceiling looking like the Sistine Chapel, while Botticelli's Birth of Venus adorns the entrance to the gymnasium, and Van Gogh's Starry Night is painted on the art room doors. Art at Grymes goes above and beyond the typical course of learning different styles and media by connecting Art to History and topics of the classroom curriculum. Students use a variety of media including paper, tempera, acrylic, and watercolor paint, glue, scissors, markers, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, chalk, papier mache, clay, and cray-pas. Techniques include collage, painting, drawing, and printmaking. With the addition of a new kiln, all grade levels can now work with clay and create pottery which can be glazed and fired at school.
Children in kindergarten are encouraged to show their creativity through the use of paint, markers, crayons, clay, scissors, glue and paper as they are introduced to the work of many famous artists and art periods. They develop an appreciation for design, color, shape and texture while they strengthen their fine and gross motor coordination. They take pride in their work and learn through the process of creating art. First graders learn the language of art through a variety of stories about artists, art movements, seasons and many other topics. They learn about primary, secondary, warm and cool colors, textures, lines and shapes. In second grade, the focus is on the elements of design. Students learn about color, line, shape, form, and texture, and how they are related through projects based on styles of famous artists. Third graders are exposed to the art of many cultures as they create a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art in portraits, landscapes and still life. They develop an appreciation for other cultures and their influence as they compare art, artifacts, symbols, and architecture of other cultures. Fourth grade studies the world of modern art from the Impressionists of the 1800's to the Pop Art of the 1960's. Each nine weeks they learn about a different art period and several artists from each of these movements. They identify the characteristics of color including hue, tint, shade and intensity as well as variety, repetition, unity, positive and negative space.
Once in the upper school, the art curriculum dovetails with the History curriculum. In fifth grade, the year begins with cave art and follows a historical timeline, incorporating all aspects of the fifth grade curriculum through Medieval times. Students compare architectural styles of ancient times including those used in ancient Greece and Rome. Sixth graders start with the art of the Renaissance and follow the history curriculum through Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Australian, African, and Religious art. Line, texture, shape, form, space and color are emphasized in seventh and eighth grade. Students are responsible for weekly sketchbook assignments that cover contour drawing, value, perspective, and shading.