The philosophy of the visual arts program is to provide an atmosphere which allows each child to develop self confidence in their work and a sense of pride in their accomplishments.
Visual arts is an integral part of student life at The John Thomas Dye School. The visual arts curriculum allows students at every grade level the opportunity to explore concepts such as self-expression, personal identity, independent thinking, and creative problem solving, through an examination and application of varied media and the techniques of influential artists. A developmentally appropriate, continuous, and sequential study in the visual arts provides for a deeper understanding of cultures, community, and valuable self-reflection.
Both Lower and Upper School students visit the art room weekly. During that time, the Visual Arts Department works to present every child with the opportunity to do the following:
  • Utilize current technologies in the creative process
  • Develop the ability to constructively analyze, interpret, and evaluate their own artistic choices and the work of peers
  • Expand upon their creative and critical thinking skills
  • Participate in meaningful group discussions and self-directed learning
  • Become aware of and appreciate the idea of verbal and nonverbal artistic communication
The program draws its curriculum from a variety of sources including state and national standards, NAEA guidelines, local cultural and museum offerings, and elements born out of ideals relevant and unique to JTD.
The program encompasses art history, art criticism, aesthetics, design, and production. Art concepts are reinforced and strengthened using activities based on the elements of art and principles of design. Through such outlets as drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, sculpture, and other fundamental artistic processes, students learn to:
  • Make connections between art and other disciplines such as dance, theater, music, math, science and social studies.
  • Develop fine and gross motor skills
  • Analyze and evaluate art using art vocabulary
  • Synthesize other skills, like reading and writing, to analyze each component of their arts education as well as their own personal growth.
  • Compare and contrast artwork from different historical time periods and cultures.
The ultimate mission of the JTD Visual Arts Program is to assist each child to reach his or her fullest creative potential in a non-threatening, noncompetitive, and supportive environment. The Visual Arts Department strives for each child to develop self-confidence and a sense of pride as a result of their artistic education and accomplishments.

At a Glance

Grades 1 - 6
     1 double block per week
     1 period per week
1 teacher grades 4 - 6
1 teacher grades K - 3
1 associate shared K - 6

Grade Levels

List of 7 items.

  • Kindergarten

    • Development of fine motor skills.
    • Introduction to proper beginning artistic technique.
    • Paper folding and cutting
    • Shading and pressure control
    • Basic watercolor techniques (wet on dry, wet on wet)
    • World art as related to corresponding social studies units.
    • Impressionism and major impressionist artists
    • The role of an illustrator and various methods of book illustration
    • Abstract vs. concrete images
    • Organic vs. geometric shapes
    • Concepts of repetition and pattern
    • Paper-maché and other beginning sculpting techniques
  • Grade 1

    • Oviparous animals and their habitats
    • Beginning self-portraiture
    • Concepts of scale, proportion, and size
    • Positive vs. negative space
    • Scientific applications of the arts (life-cycle of a silkworm)
    • Basic sewing and cross-stitching 
    • Usage and applications of oil pastel
    • Mobiles and other artistic representations of motion (a look at the work of artists including Alexander Calder and Edgar Degas)
    • Introduction to digital photography
    • Examination of the color wheel and identification of color groupings
    • Color mixing (studying the work of Paul Klee)
    • Outdoor installations and large-scale art
  • Grade 2

    Subject Matter
    • Natural elements
    • Fish
    • Foods
    • Recycled materials
    • Holidays
    • Ceramics
    • One-point perspective
    Skills and Projects
    • Drawing skills
    • Construction of 3-D objects
    • Discuss and create artwork in the styles well known artists
    • Visit LACMA
  • Grade 3

    Discuss and create artwork in the styles of:
    • da Vinci
    • van Gogh
    • Vermeer
    • POP artists
    Projects and Events
    • Study arcitecture and outdoor sculptures in Los Angeles
    • Visit MOCA and a downtown art walk
    • Holiday projects
    • Print
    • Clay
    • Two-point perspective drawing
    • Elements and design principles
    • Emphasis on drawing skills
  • Grade 4

    • Exposure to artists and techniques from cultures that have contributed to California history and heritage.
    • Introduction to backdrop design and production relating to Social Studies movie series.
    • Synthesis of the principles of landscape composition related to Social Studies and Language Arts curriculum.
    • Exposure to Environmental Art and processes relating to Science curriculum: the use of organic and/or recycled materials to create art.
    • Introduction to artist, Andy Goldsworthy.
    • Comprehension and application of concepts of ephemeral art (sculpture and performance).
    • Exposure to Fiber Art techniques in Folk and Contemporary art.
    • Application of basic Digital Art skills with Pixelmator software.
    • Introduction to internationally critically acclaimed artists.
  • Grade 5

    • Exposure to artists and artistic movements from American history.
    • Introduction to the power of story and visual narratives in art.
    • Exposure to world art corresponding to concepts of civil rights and freedom.
    • Application of art that involves the relationship between text, language, and the visual image. ( Neon Art, calligrams, Installation Art.)
    • Introduction to movement and performance inspired objective and non- objective art.
    • Continue Digital Art and photographic manipulation.
    • Introduction to and application of art inspired by invertebrates (Dale Chihuly).
    • Introduction to internationally critically acclaimed artists.
  • Grade 6

    • Synthesis of Ancient Art corresponding to the the History curriculum. (Art and Empire, Symbolism, and Ritual).
    • Application of plaster paris to create Egyptian canopic jars.
    • Comprehension and application of positive and negative space in Greek pottery.
    • Refinement of Digital Art and photographic manipulation of animals and animals collaborating with the English curriculum. (Mythological creatures and The Giver).
    • Synthesis of and application of the principles and canon of portraiture.
    • Introduction to musical theater movement in collaboration with Music curriculum.
    • Introduction to playbill, set, and costume design in collaboration with Music curriculum. 

The John Thomas Dye School

11414 Chalon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: (310) 476-2811

Located In Los Angeles, CA, John Thomas Dye is an independent school for grades K-6. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine arts, competitive athletics,  and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.

The John Thomas Dye School admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.