National Visual Arts Standards

Visual Arts – National Standards for the Visual Arts

Visual Arts include the traditional fine arts such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture; media arts including film, graphic communications, animation, and emerging technologies; architectural, environmental, and industrial arts such as urban, interior, product, and landscape design; folk arts; and works of art such as ceramics, fibers, jewelry, works in wood, paper, and other materials. (National Art Education Association)

The Visual Arts Standards provide learning progressions from Pre k-12. Please read the conceptual framework narrative to learn more about the additional materials which provide a context for the grade level visual arts Performance Standards. These include:

  • Philosophical Foundations and Lifelong Goals for Artistic Literacy;
  • Definitions of the artistic processes of Creating, Presenting, Responding, and Connecting;
  • Anchor Standards which are common across all five of the arts disciplines.

The glossary provides definitions for those terms which the writing team felt would benefit from explaining the context or point of view regarding the use of the term within the standards.

  1. The standards provide the foundation for visual art education for all students. The standards support student-learning outcomes through big ideas – enduring understandings and essential questions. The concepts embedded in the standards reflect the scope of learning – the knowledge, skills, and understandings – taught through study of the visual arts. By including all aspects of creating, presenting, responding, and connecting in study of the visual arts, student learning through these standards explores the full scope of what it means to be an artistically literate citizen. While presented chronologically the processes are best designed and taught in a blended fashion to support rich artistic skills and behaviors.
  2. The standards provide ways to address the content of visual art education within the school year. There are 15 Enduring Understandings with 15 correlated grade-by-grade (preK-8 and three levels for high school) Performance Standards. Art educators will be able to cluster group standards using more than one within a given instructional unit. The Performance Standards offer a practical system for teachers to use to inform their instruction.
  3. The standards emphasize deep learning in the visual arts creating higher expectations and support college, career and citizenship readiness for all students. The performance standards offer learning progressions for students. Embedded in the standards are ideas about how arts learning can be broadened and deepened to support students in making meaning of their lives and their world. Essential questions are provided for teachers as thought starters promoting inquiry based teaching and learning. They support communicating and learning in art by providing language needed for students and stakeholders alike.
  4. The standards provide opportunities for educators to reflect on their practice. The visual arts performance standards are fundamentally grounded in collective beliefs about what constitutes effective teaching and learning. Individual educators are encouraged to review and use the standards in achieving the goal of continuous improvement.

Whether it means updating curriculum or adapting an individual art lesson or curriculum unit, the new visual arts standards inspire and support the ways in which art educators keep their teaching fresh and dynamic.

1. Creating

Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.
Essential Question(s): What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks? How does collaboration expand the creative process?

  • 1.1P: Use multiple approaches to begin creative endeavors.
  • 1.1Ac: Individually or collaboratively formulate new creative problems based on student’s existing artwork.
  • 1.1 Ad: Visualize and hypothesize to generate plans for ideas and directions for creating art and design that can affect social change.

Enduring Understanding: Artists and designers shape artistic investigations, following or breaking with traditions in pursuit of creative artmaking goals.
Essential Question(s): How does knowing the contexts histories, and traditions of art forms help us create works of art and design? Why do artists follow or break from established traditions? How do artists determine what resources and criteria are needed to formulate artistic investigations?

  • 1.2P: Shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present-day life using a contemporary practice of art or design.
  • 1.2Ac: Choose from a range of materials and methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices to plan works of art and design.
  • 1.2Ad: Choose from a range of materials and methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices, following or breaking established conventions, to plan the making of multiple works of art and design based on a theme, idea, or concept.

Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understanding: Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and art-making approaches.
Essential Question(s): How do artists work? How do artists and designers determine whether a particular direction in their work is effective? How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?

  • 2.1P: Engage in making a work of art or design without having a preconceived plan.
  • 2.1Ac: Through experimentation, practice, and persistence, demonstrate acquisition of skills and knowledge in a chosen art form.
  • 2.1Ad: Experiment, plan, and make multiple works of art and design that explore a personally meaningful theme, idea, or concept.

Enduring Understanding: Artists and designers balance experimentation and safety, freedom and responsibility while developing and creating artworks.
Essential Question(s): How do artists and designers care for and maintain materials, tools, and equipment? Why is it important for safety and health to understand and follow correct procedures in handling materials, tools, and equipment? What responsibilities come with the freedom to create?

  • 2.2P: Explain how traditional and non-traditional materials may impact human health and the environment and demonstrate safe handling of materials, tools, and equipment.
  • 2.2Ac: Demonstrate awareness of ethical implications of making and distributing creative work.
  • 2.2Ad: Demonstrate understanding of the importance of balancing freedom and responsibility in the use of images, materials, tools, and equipment in the creation and circulation of creative work.

Enduring Understanding: People create and interact with objects, places, and design that define, shape, enhance, and empower their lives.
Essential Question(s): How do objects, places, and design shape lives and communities? How do artists and designers determine goals for designing or redesigning objects, places, or systems? How do artists and designers create works of art or design that effectively communicate?

  • 2.3P: Collaboratively develop a proposal for an installation, artwork, or space design that transforms the perception and experience of a particular place.
  • 2.3Ac: Redesign an object, system, place, or design in response to contemporary issues.
  • 2.3Ad: Demonstrate in works of art or design how visual and material culture defines, shapes, enhances, inhibits, and/or empowers people’s lives.

Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.

Enduring Understanding: Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time.
Essential Question(s): What role does persistence play in revising, refining, and developing work? How do artists grow and become accomplished in art forms? How does collaboratively reflecting on a work help us experience it more completely?

  • 3.1P: Apply relevant criteria from traditional and contemporary cultural contexts to examine, reflect on, and plan revisions for works of art and design in progress.
  • 3.1Ac: Engage in constructive critique with peers, then reflect on, re-engage, revise, and refine works of art and design in response to personal artistic vision.
  • 3.1Ad: Reflect on, re-engage, revise, and refine works of art or design considering relevant traditional and contemporary criteria as well as personal artistic vision.

2. Presenting

Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

Enduring Understanding: Artists and other presenters consider various techniques, methods, venues, and criteria when analyzing, selecting, and curating objects artifacts, and artworks for preservation and presentation.
Essential Question(s): How are artworks cared for and by whom? What criteria, methods, and processes are used to select work for preservation or presentation? Why do people value objects, artifacts, and artworks, and select them for presentation?

  • 4.1P: Analyze, select, and curate artifacts and/or artworks for presentation and preservation.
  • 4.2Ac: Analyze, select, and critique personal artwork for a collection or portfolio presentation.
  • 4.2Ad: Critique, justify, and present choices in the process of analyzing, selecting, curating, and presenting artwork for a specific exhibit or event.

Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

Enduring Understanding: Artists, curators and others consider a variety of factors and methods including evolving technologies when preparing and refining artwork for display and or when deciding if and how to preserve and protect it.
Essential Question(s): What methods and processes are considered when preparing artwork for presentation or preservation? How does refining artwork affect its meaning to the viewer? What criteria are considered when selecting work for presentation, a portfolio, or a collection?

  • 5.1P: Analyze and evaluate the reasons and ways an exhibition is presented.
  • 5.1Ac: Evaluate, select, and apply methods or processes appropriate to display artwork in a specific place.
  • 5.1Ad: Investigate, compare, and contrast methods for preserving and protecting art.

Anchor Standard 6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Enduring Understanding: Objects, artifacts, and artworks collected, preserved, or presented either by artists, museums, or other venues communicate meaning and a record of social, cultural, and political experiences resulting in the cultivating of appreciation and understanding.
Essential Question(s): What is an art museum? How does the presenting and sharing of objects, artifacts, and artworks influence and shape ideas, beliefs, and experiences? How do objects, artifacts, and artworks collected, preserved, or presented, cultivate appreciation and understanding?

  • 6.1P: Analyze and describe the impact that an exhibition or collection has on personal awareness of social, cultural, or political beliefs and understandings.
  • 6.1Ac: Make, explain, and justify connections between artists or artwork and social, cultural, and political history.
  • 6.1Ad: Curate a collection of objects, artifacts, or artwork to impact the viewer’s understanding of social, cultural, and/or political experiences.

3. Responding

Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.

Enduring Understanding: Individual aesthetic and empathetic awareness developed through engagement with art can lead to understanding and appreciation of self, others, the natural world, and constructed environments.
Essential Question(s): How do life experiences influence the way you relate to art? How does learning about art impact how we perceive the world? What can we learn from our responses to art?

  • 7.1P: Hypothesize ways in which art influences perception and understanding of human experiences.
  • 7.1Ac: Recognize and describe personal aesthetic and empathetic responses to the natural world and constructed environments.
  • 7.1Ad: Analyze how responses to art develop over time based on knowledge of and experience with art and life.
Enduring Understanding: Visual imagery influences understanding of and responses to the world.
Essential Question(s): What is an image? Where and how do we encounter images in our world? How do images influence our views of the world?
  • 7.2P: Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
  • 7.2Ac: Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
  • 7.2Ad: Determine the commonalities within a group of artists or visual images attributed to a particular type of art, timeframe, or culture.

Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Enduring Understanding: People gain insights into meanings of artworks by engaging in the process of art criticism.
Essential Question(s): What is the value of engaging in the process of art criticism? How can the viewer “read” a work of art as text? How does knowing and using visual art vocabularies help us understand and interpret works of art?

  • 8.1P: Interpret an artwork or collection of works, supported by relevant and sufficient evidence found in the work and its various contexts.
  • 8.1Ac: Identify types of contextual information useful in the process of constructing interpretations of an artwork or collection of works.
  • 8.1Ad: Analyze differing interpretations of an artwork or collection of works in order to select and defend a plausible critical analysis.

Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

Enduring Understanding: People evaluate art based on various criteria.
Essential Question(s): How does one determine criteria to evaluate a work of art? How and why might criteria vary? How is a personal preference different from an evaluation?

  • 9.1P: Establish relevant criteria in order to evaluate a work of art or collection of works.
  • 9.1Ac: Determine the relevance of criteria used by others to evaluate a work of art or collection of works.
  • 9.1Ad: Construct evaluations of a work of art or collection of works based on differing sets of criteria.

4. Connecting

Anchor Standard 10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Enduring Understanding: Through art-making, people make meaning by investigating and developing awareness of perceptions, knowledge, and experiences.
Essential Question(s): How does engaging in creating art enrich people’s lives? How does making art attune people to their surroundings? How do people contribute to awareness and understanding of their lives and the lives of their communities through art-making?

  • 10.1P: Document the process of developing ideas from early stages to fully elaborated ideas.
  • 10.1Ac: Utilize inquiry methods of observation, research, and experimentation to explore unfamiliar subjects through art-making.
  • 10.1Ad: Synthesize knowledge of social, cultural, historical, and personal life with art-making approaches to create meaningful works of art or design.

Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Enduring Understanding: People develop ideas and understandings of society, culture, and history through their interactions with and analysis of art.
Essential Question(s): How does art help us understand the lives of people of different times, places, and cultures? How is art used to impact the views of a society? How does art preserve aspects of life?

  • 11.1P: Document the process of developing ideas from early stages to fully elaborated ideas.
  • 11.1Ac: Utilize inquiry methods of observation, research, and experimentation to explore unfamiliar subjects through art-making.
  • 11.1Ad: Synthesize knowledge of social, cultural, historical, and personal life with art-making approaches to create meaningful works of art or design.

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