"In art class you can express yourself, and it makes you feel good about yourself and have more confidence." —Kylie, third-grader at Hilltop Primary School
Students at Hilltop and Shirley Hills primary schools explore a variety of media, including 2D and 3D artwork, in their art classes. Visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Art is also an integral part of the elementary art program where students learn about and see the artwork of famous and influential artists.
In recent years, Hilltop has welcomed a variety of visiting artists, including an award-winning painter, commercial photographer, puppet and mask sculptor, and even a live owl for observational drawing. The district is also committed to displaying student artwork in a variety of settings- from local events like the Imagination Celebration and Fine Arts Nights that combine music and visual art at the Westonka Performing Arts Center, to state-wide exhibitions like the Youth Art Month competition at the State Capitol.
The concepts and techniques taught at the primary level are matched to state academic standards, but individual projects change from year to year to accommodate student interests, changing art trends and individual student needs. Highlights of elementary art include clay, fiber arts, drawing, collaborative group work, painting, pastels, mixed-media and media arts.
Art in motion
In line with the goals of the Westonka Edge21 Technology Plan, Westonka’s art teachers are finding new and innovative ways to integrate technology in their classrooms. At the primary level, students create stop motion film projects that blend traditional art techniques and 21st century technology.
Students—who each have an iPad to use during the school day—work together in small groups using the iMotion HD app to plan, build sets for, create and edit stop motion animation films. View the students’ art in motion below.