Visual Arts Curriculum


The Big Ideas in Art

  • Art is a personal and passionate response to circumstances.
  • Through Art we express and communicate creatively.
  • Through Art we gain appreciation and connections to other cultures.
  • Art takes commitment and organization, which leads to personal growth.

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Art Department provides an art curriculum for all students in grades 1-12.  The elementary curriculum is experienced in weekly forty-five minute lessons taught by a certified art instructor, focusing on art production techniques connected with art appreciation and art history. Students explore ideas about themselves, their world, and other cultures through work in various art processes such as painting, collage, drawing, sculpture, and ceramics. References to art of the past and present teach how others have explored these ideas and media. Art history is a major component of the elementary art curriculum. The lessons are designed to allow the individual student to solve visual problems using her or his own unique vision.

At the middle school level, TCAPS offers a sixth grade elective, Video Document“Art Unleashed,” in which students explore all foundation areas in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art. Seventh and eighth grade students may elect from a variety of media. Advanced level courses are available with instructor approval. Video DocumentView this video highlighting middle school art classes

High school classes are designed to offer a level of advancement into all students’ concentrated fields of art study. Students have a multitude of courses to choose from including an Advanced Placement course in Studio Art for students who wish to participate in college-level courses and have the potential to earn college credit.

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