Life at ISM


The ISM Art Department seeks to give students a sense of participation in the unfolding of contemporary culture thereby allowing students to reflect on cultural issues related to self and society. Through studying and making art, students become attuned to complexity. Children at ISM are given the opportunity to experience things related to their interests, enabling them to gain knowledge that will enhance their lives. They learn to recognize the cultural choices that underlie even the most mundane moments and actions of everyday life, and consider whether these are the choices they themselves wish to make.

In Visual Art, we follow the concepts in the National Core Arts Standards, while also including Art History, Culture, Aesthetics, meaning making, Art Criticism, interdisciplinary connections with other grade levels, and introducing the Elements and Principles of Design.

A lot of projects are open ended in which the students are guided through the creative process from starting with an idea and creating something completely new from their minds, brainstorming multiple approaches to creative art or problem solving. Creativity is greatly encouraged and focused on as well as criticism where we look at famous artists’ works and discuss what is seen, the meaning of it, and opinion about it. 

Art speaks to all learners, it is good for expression, communication, relaxation, and good for emotional health. It expresses something from deep inside of us from our soul or the subconscious part of our mind. 


To help children become lifelong learners, teachers show students not only how and where to access information, but then what to do with the countless pages of information, how to analyze and critically think about the information. Whether the information is coming from a book, the internet, or accessed from our smart-phones, it seems that we must engender a digital literacy whereby students can become savvy in processing the countless images and information they come across on a daily basis.

Digital Art 1

  • This one-year course provides students with the fundamentals of digital media.
  • Topics include photographic vision, operating cameras, image processing, video recording, editing, graphic design, and animation.
  • Project-based learning, collaboration, and portfolio development are essential elements of this class.
  • Students learn the distinguishing features of communicating visually through digital media by gaining technical skills in Adobe Creative Suite to equip them for their individual projects. 

The appropriate use of technology is an integral part of this course.   

Digital Art 2

  • This one-year course builds on the skills and knowledge acquired in Digital Art I.
  • Students gain experience in the advanced principles of commercial photography as well as create and exhibit photographic work.
  • Students expand their skills with the elements of video production technology. Emphasis is on script writing, video recording and editing, and publication of news and entertainment through video.
  • Students gain an understanding of the creative process, with an emphasis on the design principles, layout, and the creation and manipulation of graphics. 

The appropriate use of technology is an integral part of this course.