Art has been an essential part of The Howard School from the very beginning. Mae Carden was well aware that academics alone do not make the whole child; children need to be exposed to culture and expression through art as well. Our Art Teacher, Ms. Rebecca Stebbins, came to The Howard School as a parent and an artist and started by volunteering in art classes; she became the art teacher in 2007. In addition to teaching, Ms. Stebbins is a well known local painter. She specializes in oil painting and travels in the summer to France to attend workshops and paint the French countryside.
The Howard School art program helps each student obtain a sense of confidence and acknowledges his or her creative abilities in every grade level. Younger students work on developing fine motor skills and manual dexterity, and are introduced to basic concepts in art, such as line, shape, color theory, and negative space. They begin to learn to carefully observe the world around them as they develop their own creative projects. Older students are pushed to refine their observational skills and to continue developing their ability to translate 3-dimensional objects onto a 2-dimensional surface. They work on improving their drawing skills and studying value, shading, aerial perspective, and perspective drawing, among other concepts.
Students work in a variety of media, including pencil, crayon, pen and marker, oil and chalk pastel, watercolor, tempera and acrylic paint, batik, linoleum block print, ceramics, collage, papier mâché, and more.
Ms. Stebbins periodically ties art lessons to what the students are studying in class, for example, with special projects designed around President’s Day or Greek mythology. Ms. Stebbins says her favorite thing about teaching at The Howard School is watching the students develop their skills and surprise themselves with their own abilities. She has seen kindergarteners who can barely hold a pencil become very proficient representational artists, able to communicate their creative ideas successfully andeagerly..
The best part of the year for parents and teachers alike is the Annual Art Show. The children are proud to display their work in a gallery setting and have their friends and family enjoy their amazing creations.