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Visual Arts Philosophy

Throughout time, the arts have been essential to human existence. The arts enrich the quality of life. When people create images, they discover ways to shape and share thoughts and feelings with others.

Young children draw pictures before they form letters. The visual arts are a fundamental way of knowing and thinking. In addition to their intrinsic value, the arts contribute to children’s development. All students deserve access to the arts through creation, performance and study.

Works of art are some of the highest achievements of civilization. In school, students learn the language of the arts and how to interpret visual images. Because the arts are both universal and culturally specific, they are a powerful means of increasing international and intercultural awareness. Through the arts, the students gain a greater understanding of their own cultural heritage, as well as a sense of the larger world community. When students study the arts they become informed audience members and informed consumers of the popular culture.

(Adapted from the Illinois Learning Standards. 1997)