In her article, On the Edge of Chaos: Where Creativity Flourishes, Katrina Schwartz opens with Sir Ken Robinson’s words, that “Creativity is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity. ” If this is true, then it’s that much more imperative to find ways to bring creativity to learning, says Schwartz.
At Kew-Forest, we believe art is a form of communication that comes naturally to children.  Every child has the capacity to transform experiences of feelings, thinking and perceiving into his or her own unique art form. Art is an indispensable component of a child’s development and every child has the right and ability to be visually literate.
The art room provides an arena for creative problem solving and thinking, new ideas, invention, originality, unexpected responses, independence, discovery, experimentation, imagination, flexibility, self-expression, personal imagery, risk taking, trial and error, self-evaluation and decision making.  We strive to foster and encourage these goals and aspirations in each class and at all levels throughout the Lower School Art experience
In a supportive and structured environment, children learn in and through art, developing skills and techniques to express their own ideas. Students are encouraged and motivated to apply knowledge and understanding of the elements of art and the principle of design, and to problem solve with originality, flexibility, fluency and imagination. The Lower School Art program provides experiences in a variety of media designed to introduce children to the visual language of art. Children remain the center of the art curriculum, with exploration, discovery and play central to each child’s experience.

List of 8 items.

  • Early Childhood Development

    Our ECD children have the opportunity to explore and experiment with varied mixed media and materials. Drawing and painting are primary activities. Each new painting experience encourages spontaneity and adventure. Pushing, pulling, smudging thick creamy colors, gliding brushes across a surface to mix colors, dipping brushes into water and watching the magic of colors blend together are fun and important explorations! 
    Prepping for class and cleaning up are important integral parts of the total art experience. Bowls for washing hands evolve into another art activity. A soapy overflow from a playful spin creates bubbles to push and play, stimulating imagination and promoting creativity. ECD Art helps to establish a foundation for future artistic growth and development.
  • Kindergarten

    Kindergarten children are adventurous, intuitive, and eager for new discoveries. They are free, spontaneous, and direct in their artistic expression. They rely more on intuition than on experience. Providing media and tools such as large brushes, vivid colors and large-size papers encourages open, free and spontaneous behavior. Kindergarten children explore various expressive and manipulative properties. They include painting, drawing, modeling, cutting, gluing, tearing, and printing. They use tools such as brushes, paints, crayons, felt-tip pens, modeling materials, wood, and scissors. 
    Topics such as food, work and play, self-image, other children, home and family, make-believe, heroes, special events and fantasy provide motivational topics to create art. We include a number of cross-curricular connections with topics of study the children are exploring in the Kindergarten classroom. Music of the Kindergarten artwork goes on display throughout the school.
  • First Grade

    In first grade, students experience a variety of media designed to introduce them to the visual language of art. They begin with a crayon drawing of their own face and progress to drawing, painting, collage, and papier-mache. Using these materials, they experiment with positive and negative space, pattern, placement, color, tint, shape, and balance. Some assignments are focused primarily on design and composition, while others emphasize non-representational painting. In every lesson, exploration, discovery, and play are central to the learning. 
    As their skills and techniques develop, students are challenged to apply the elements of art and the principles of design to problem-solve with originality, flexibility, fluency, and imagination. The work is often messy, but the results are always worth it! At the end of first grade, each child designs a personal art portfolio to carry all of his/her artwork home.
  • Second Grade

    Second grade students participate in a variety of painting, drawing and construction activities. They participate in straight-line painting using specific elements (three vertical, three horizontal, three diagonal), with each line a different color. Students curl, twist, fold, and crumble paper to achieve different textures, shapes and forms. Using an assortment of these invented parts, they assemble them into non-representational objects of art. Beginning with pencil sketching, students move to watercolor illustrating to enhance their sketches. Manipulating color and line in space, students create three-dimensional non-representational compositions. Portfolio construction focuses on lettering and composition. 
    A highlight of second grade involves drawing from a live model. Other works of art include “a painting on a painting,” concentric shape composition, flower paintings, things on wheels, self portraits, and a paper construction using 100 strips of assorted colored paper strips in commemoration of the “100th Day of School.”
  • Third Grade

    Third graders are encouraged to explore and challenge their creative and artistic potential through openness to self-expression, flexibility and skill development. Combining visual memory, observational, and fantasy/imagination types of drawing stimulates the process for imaginative discovery. Students experiment with elements of art through line, shape and color. They experiment with horizontal, vertical, diagonal, straight, curved, and broken lines. They use lines to create shapes and experiment with shapes, geometric and free form. They experiment with color, overlaying pressing and blending colors, creating experimental paintings with an emphasis on composition and design. 
    Students experience drawing from a live model, and in contrast, look into a mirror and draw what they see. Third graders focus on radial and symmetrical composition, creating radial paintings on various size and shapes of paper. Third grade students do in-depth work with pattern and repetition in design. Their completed designs are then “take-offs” for life-size figurative paintings. They focus on color study, exploring tints, shades and mixed hues in their flower and border paintings. Using small paper fragments as the starting point on a page, each student creates his or her personal artistic statement.
  • Fourth Grade

    The fourth grade students’ art experience begins with a line: the path of a moving point that is made by a tool, instrument, or medium as it moves across an area. Three lines evolve into a drawing and into a painting. Students experience creating observational paintings with the emphasis on specific themes. They experiment with horizontal, vertical, diagonal, straight, curved, and broken lines. They use lines to create shapes and experiment with shapes, geometric and free form, experimenting with color, overlaying pressing and blending colors. These become experimental paintings with an emphasis on composition and design. 
    Figurative sketches created with paint and others from torn paper are another observational activity with emphasis on a subject. Students also explore color, composition and symmetry with paint. Part of the fourth grade art curriculum is a trip to Chelsea art galleries where the students get the opportunity to view the many exhibitions. 
    Students also explore and experiment with representational and non-representational art concepts. They explore and manipulate lettering to be used on art folders and paper weavings as an introduction to weaving a fabric piece on a cardboard handloom, a precise craft requiring concentration and demanding total attention. 
    The fourth grade art experience also focuses on observational drawing. This work includes sketching a chair from a variety of positions. The sketches are then used as a point of departure for a series of large painting using an arbitrary color palette. A composition and design unit explores repetition and pattern using watercolor and marker. Basic concepts are introduced through a series of paper weavings. Near the end of the year, students get the opportunity to begin some exploration with the human figure.
  • Fourth Grade

  • Fifth Grade

    In fifth grade, sketching is an observational element of the art itinerary and students are given an exceptional sketching opportunity through a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students also get the opportunity to explore the outdoors and observe architectural and automotive design. 
    Fifth grade students study the human figure. Areas touched upon include pencil and charcoal portrait studies, figure drawing from live models, figure proportion, painted silhouettes, torn paper silhouette in motion, and torn and painted cardboard exaggerated figure. 
    They also explore and experiment with gesso and acrylic paint on paper. Students mix and apply thin layers of acrylic paint on gesso surfaces to create and observe color. Overlapping thin layers of color can create illusion of depth, visual texture or luminosity. This activity is intended to enhance the sculpture painting process. Through a long and tedious process, students get the opportunity to create a single piece of sculpture. The experience gives the students tremendous satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment. 
    In fifth grade, self-portraits are an in-depth series of life drawings and paintings focused on analyzing and translating visual information onto a two-dimensional surface. Bottle drawings focus on shape, exaggeration, transparency and composition. Media for this series include pencil, charcoal and pastel. Students also participate in portfolio construction that focuses on lettering and composition.

The Kew-Forest School

119-17 Union Turnpike
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-4667
The oldest independent school in the borough of Queens, The Kew-Forest School is an independent co-educational, college preparatory school for students in Preschool through Grade 12.