The Visual Arts Program at AIM embraces and supports Sally Smith's "Live it, Learn it" philosophy by actively creating exciting learning opportunities to engage all students. For example, students might learn about the history of the fresco painter Giotto by stepping into a classroom that has been transformed into a Renaissance-era studio, discover principles of geometry by running a circumference relay, or perform African folktales using hand-crafted puppets. Each and every art project is a new opportunity for students to expand core knowledge, develop academic skills, and explore both the self and the outside world in a supportive atmosphere where creativity and out-of-the-box thinking thrives and is celebrated.
At AIM, frequent artist-in-residence experiences give our students the opportunity to meet, observe, and engage in a dialogue with practicing professional artists, both in their studios and in our classrooms. Recent artists highlighted include Larry Wilson, wire sculptor; Josh Axelrod, nature photographer; Leo Sewell, recycled art sculptor; Tom Crane, architectural photographer; Beth Gordan, wood turner; representatives from Nicole Miller, fashion designer; and Dennis Haugh, mural painter. Visual arts learning is further supported through local collaborations with many of Philadelphia's finest museums, community groups, and universities, such as The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology, the Constitution Center, and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Recent out-of-town trips have taken students to The National Gallery in Washington DC, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the cities of Rome, Venice, and Florence in Italy.
All AIM students participate in foundation-building visual arts activities. Beginning in the Lower School, students are introduced to the following core artistic disciplines:
As Middle School and Upper School students progress though AIM's visual arts curriculum, they continue to develop foundation skills and begin to experience a variety of sophisticated materials, techniques, and approaches to art that could include:
Additionally, Upper School visual arts students have the opportunity to focus more deeply in an area of a chosen interest. Recent inquiry-based studio projects have included: