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Visual arts enables students to express themselves creatively as they grow in their ability to explore, imagine, and represent their understandings of the world through artworks. Foundational knowledge and understanding of the elements and principles of art supports students in developing visual arts literacy and skills. Through creative processes, students learn that individual and collaborative art making fosters meaningful artistic expression. Creating and presenting artworks allows students to express ideas, feelings, and experiences by using artistic vocabulary, skills, media, and methods. Appreciating, interpreting, and responding to works of art prepares students to understand and appreciate enduring historical, cultural, and contemporary works of art and artists.
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Grade 2
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Grade 4
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements and Principles: Visual arts literacy is developed through knowledge and application of foundational elements and principles.
Guiding Question
What is the role of line and shape in artworks?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of colour and texture contribute to artworks?
Guiding Question
How can colour and texture enhance artworks when combined with other elements of art?
Learning Outcome
Students examine how line and shape can communicate meaning in artworks.
Learning Outcome
Students analyze colour as an element of art.

Students examine various ways in which texture can be represented in artworks.
Learning Outcome
Students interpret the role of colour in artworks.
Students evaluate how texture can contribute to detail within a composition.
Emphasis (principle of design) can lead the eye to a focal point in artworks.

A line can be sloping.

A line can emerge when there is contrast between other lines, shapes, or colours, as seen in
  • Jacob Lawrence, Parade, c. 1960
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, c. 1503
Direction of a line in artworks, including where and how it moves, can indicate a sense of depth or distance.

Linear perspective can create an illusion of space, depending on where lines appear.

Location of a line in an artwork can enhance or diminish its visual weight depending on where it is in the picture plane.

One-point perspective contains vertical or horizontal lines that recede to a vanishing point on the horizon, as seen in drawings of railroad tracks or roads that appear to vanish in the distance.

Lines can create various effects when combined, including three-dimensional forms.

Cross-hatching is a technique that can create shading and textured effects when parallel lines are layered at right angles to each other.
Location of a line in artworks affects how it is perceived.
Skills & Procedures
Use visual arts vocabulary to describe how the direction of a line can lead the eye or indicate a sense of depth or distance in artworks.

Create linear or one-point perspectives in artworks.

Incorporate a focal point in artworks.

Explore how lines can be used to create shading, texture, or other effects in artworks.
Colour is a visual response to wavelengths of light.

Colour can seem to change in value when light is varied.

Colour can be detected as part of the visible spectrum, as seen in rainbows and prisms.

Hue is the generic name for a colour and defines the purest state of a colour within the visible spectrum.

The visible spectrum includes the colours
  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • indigo
  • violet
The use of light in artworks can be seen in
  • Elioth Gruner, Spring Frost, 1919
  • James Chapin, Ruby Green Singing, c. 1928
  • Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c. 1660
Colour is light that is reflected from an object.
Skills & Procedures
Examine how artists use colour in a variety of artworks.

Explore how light can change the way colour is perceived.
A light value of a colour is a tint and a dark value is a shade.

Tints and shades can be created by adding a neutral colour to a pure hue.

Neutral colours range from white through grey to black.

The value of a colour can increase or decrease in lightness or darkness, known as gradation.

Adjusting the value of a colour can provide contrast in artworks.

Value can give the illusion of mass or volume in two-dimensional works of art.

When colours with different values or hues are placed next to each other in a composition, the illusion of an edge, a shape, or a line can emerge.

A monochromatic colour originates from a single hue and can be developed using shades and tints, as seen in
  • Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907
  • Hendrick van Anthonissen, Shipping in a Gale, c. 1656
Colour has the physical property of value.

Value indicates the lightness or darkness of a colour.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how to create tints, shades, and gradation.

Observe and discuss how artists employ value in a variety of artworks.

Experiment with how to apply monochromatic colour to artworks.

Investigate how colour and value can create contrast in artworks.

Examine how the illusion of mass or volume can be created by adjusting value.
Physical characteristics of line can convey emotion or character:
  • Blurred lines may convey uncertainty.
  • Jagged lines may convey anger.
  • Bouncy or curvy lines may convey joyfulness.
Artworks that emphasize physical characteristics of line can include
  • A. Y. Jackson, Winter Morning, Charlevoix County, 1933
  • Emily Carr, Self-Portrait, 1938
  • Julie Mehretu, Refuge, 2007
  • Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, c. 1889
Direction of a line can convey a message, including the following:
  • A horizontal line may imply serenity or stability.
  • A diagonal line may imply agitation, motion, or instability.
  • A vertical line may imply poise or aspiration.
Lines can be used to represent subject matter as realistically as possible, as seen in
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk, 1512
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, Cottages before a Stormy Sky, c. 1641
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, Self Portrait, Wide-Eyed, 1630
  • The Qingming Scroll, c. 1100
A mural is a painting on a wall; examples can include
  • Diego Rivera, The History of Medicine in Mexico, c. 1953
  • Lance Cardinal, Love of Nations, c. 2019
Line can communicate meaning in the way that it is applied in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Interpret what message lines can communicate in artworks.

Employ line as a way to communicate meaning in artworks.

Experiment with lines and shapes to draw a variety of subject matter from direct observation.
Many variations of colours can be created by mixing colours.

Colours can complement other colours.

The proportion of colour used when mixing a new colour can affect the resulting colour.

The use of secondary colours in artworks can be seen in
  • Helen Frankenthaler, Blue Atmosphere, c. 1963
  • Mark Rothko, Red, Orange, Tan and Purple, c. 1954
  • Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Landscape, c. 1892
Colour can be used to create emphasis, focal points, and contrast, as seen in Diego Rivera, La Piñata, n.d.
Colour is an element of art that is categorized into
  • primary colours, including red, blue, and yellow
  • secondary colours, including orange, purple, and green
Secondary colours are created by mixing two primary colours.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with colour mixing and application of colour.

Apply colour to create focus through the use of contrast or emphasis in artworks.

Evaluate the use of primary and secondary colours in various artworks.

Describe how colour can enhance the visual effect of an artwork.

Apply various colour combinations in a composition.
Colour can express or represent feelings and create mood.

Colour can be described as having temperature that is
  • warm, which includes red, orange, and yellow
  • cool, which includes blue, green, and violet
Warm and cool colours in an artwork can have an emotional effect for a viewer.

Examples of warm colours can be seen in
  • Ted Harrison, Flying South, 1993
  • Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers, c. 1888
Examples of cool colours can be seen in
  • Alex Colville, To Prince Edward Island, 1965
  • Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, c. 1829–1832
Harmony is a principle of design that can be achieved by combining colours that are pleasing to the eye.

Combining colours can create a sense of harmony or contrast in artworks, as seen in Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine, 1916–1917.

Colours can be interpreted to complement another colour, including the colour pairs
  • yellow–violet
  • red–green
  • blue–orange
Two complementary colours will create a neutral colour when mixed.
Colour can impact the viewer’s response to an artwork.

People have different colour preferences.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how the use of warm and cool colours contributes to a composition.

Explore how colour can create harmony or contrast in artworks.

Explore the effect in using warm and cool colours in artworks.

Assess the use of colour in artworks to represent feelings and create mood.

Express preferences related to the use of colour in artworks.

Experiment with how to create neutral colours by mixing complementary colours.
Shape is an enclosed space that stands out from its surroundings.

Shape can create space in artworks, including
  • positive—referring to the shape itself
  • negative—referring to the space surrounding the shape
The use of positive and negative space in artworks can be seen in
  • Alexander Calder, Lobster Trap and Fish Tail, c. 1939
  • André Kertész, Self-Portrait, c. 1926
  • Kenojuak Ashevak, Enchanted Owl, 1960
  • Seed Jar, Anasazi culture, c. 1150
The same shape can appear to be either stable (static) or moving (dynamic) depending on how it is arranged within artworks; examples can include
  • static:
    – David Smith, Cubi IX, c. 1961
  • dynamic:
    – Albert Gleizes, Brooklyn Bridge, 1915
    – Bridget Riley, Amnesia, c. 1964
    – Christi Belcourt, The Conversation, 2002

Architecture in various parts of the world can depict shape, as seen in
  • Basilica de la Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi, under construction since 1882
  • Great Stupa at Sanchi, India,built in the 3rd century BCE
  • The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, built in the 7th and 8th century CE
Shape can be implied when it is not defined by an outline.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how shapes can appear to be stable or moving.

Illustrate positive and negative use of shape and space.

Experiment with how shape can emerge because of contrast with other shapes, lines, values, textures, and colours.
Texture can be created by layering or combining line, shape, and colour.

Tools, techniques, materials, and media can be used and combined to create texture.

Hatching and cross-hatching can create texture through the use of line.

Paint can be applied either thick or thin to create a desired textural effect.

Texture can be applied to two- and three-dimensional works of art as seen in
  • Justin Gaffrey, Seascapes Collection, c. 2018–2020
  • The Ife Head, Yoruba, c. 13th century CE
Examples of texture in various artworks can include
  • Claude Monet, Tulip Field in Holland, c. 1886
  • Justin Gaffrey, Seascapes Collection, c. 2018–2020
  • Mary Pratt, Red Currant Jelly, c. 1972
  • Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait, c. 1889
Texture is an element that is present in works of art.

Texture can be used to create visual interest or illusions in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Apply texture to two- and three-dimensional works of art.

Use visual arts vocabulary to describe how texture can be used to create an effect in artworks.
Pigments used in artworks today are typically manufactured.

Natural pigments come from the land and can be found in plants, animals, and minerals, including
  • clay
  • hematite, an ore of iron in the colours black, silver, grey, brown, or red
  • charcoal
Pigments are coloured materials that are typically insoluble in water, unless ground into a fine powder first.

Pigments are added to paints to give them colour.

The colour quality or pigment may vary within different media.
Colour is determined by the pigments in an object or a material.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate where natural pigments come from and how they were used in the past.
A two-dimensional shape can be changed into a three-dimensional shape known as a form.

A two-dimensional shape can be given a three-dimensional appearance by adding lines and shading to give the illusion of mass or volume.

Sculpture and architecture use shapes in a three-dimensional context, as seen in
  • sculpture:
    – Beau Dick, Moogums, 1985
    – Edgar Degas, Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, c. 1880
    – Female Pwo Mask, Chokwe peoples, early 20th century
    – Flying Horse of Gansu,
    from Wuwei, China
  • architecture:
    – Baitun Nur Mosque, Naseer Ahmad, Calgary, Alberta
    – Habitat 67, Moshe Safdie,
    Montreal, Quebec
    – Montreal Biosphere, Richard Buckminster Fuller

Shape can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between two- and three-dimensional shapes.

Identify how lines and shading can be added to two-dimensional shapes to create a three-dimensional form.
Actual texture is how an object feels when touched.

Characteristics of texture can be described using words, including
  • wrinkled or smooth
  • soft or rough
  • furry or coarse
Simulated texture gives the impression of how something would feel when touched, as seen in Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare, c. 1502.

Texture exists on natural and manufactured objects.

The texture of an object appeals to some individuals but not to others.
Texture has characteristics or surface qualities that are unique to an object.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between actual and simulated texture in artworks and the surrounding environment.

Describe preferences related to texture viewed in artworks.
Texture can be inviting, by eliciting a positive response such as curiosity, or less inviting, by provoking a negative response such as disgust.

Texture can be applied to artworks in a subtle or an exaggerated way.

Several textures can be applied to create contrast for effect.

Collage is a kind of artwork created by using a variety of materials that can vary in texture, including
  • paper
  • photographs
  • fabric
  • yarn
  • plastics
Fabric art is created by using materials that have texture, including
  • fibres or yarn
  • thread and needle to create stitching
  • tie-dye
  • batik or resist dyeing
Texture can create an effect in artworks, as seen in
  • Christi Belcourt, Nathalie, 2014
  • Faith Ringgold, Woman on a Bridge #1 of 5: Tar Beach, c. 1988
Texture contributed to historical architecture, as seen in
  • Alhambra Palace, Spain
  • Dome of the Rock, Mosque of Omar, Jerusalem
  • Taj Mahal, India
Texture can create a visual effect that is realistic and creates mood in artworks.

Texture can enhance the visual impact of artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how texture can be used to create a visual effect.

Describe how the use of texture can elicit a response from a viewer.

Use various materials to create texture in artworks.

Use visual arts vocabulary to discuss how texture exists in three-dimensional works of art.
Variation (principle of design) can be achieved by combining shapes with other elements of art, as seen in
  • Sandra Brewster, From Life 3, 2015
  • Wassily Kandinsky, Squares with Concentric Circles, c. 1913
Basic and complex use of shapes in artworks can be seen in
  • Antoni Gaudi, El Drac, c. 1900–1914
  • Laurena Fineus, Ici repose, 2019
  • Marc Chagall, I and the Village, c. 1911
  • Okon Akpan Abuje, Afaha clan, Anang artist, Funerary shrine cloth, c. late 1970s
Basic shapes can be turned into new or complex shapes by
  • adjusting the size
  • adjusting the contour
  • overlapping them
  • connecting multiple shapes to create one shape
  • covering parts of a shape with another
Shapes can be combined to create new shapes or more complex shapes.
Skills & Procedures
Analyze how complex shapes can be broken down into basic shapes.

Experiment with ways to use basic and complex shapes in artworks.

Observe and discuss how variation with lines, shapes, or colours can appear in artworks.
Shape can create the illusion of depth and distance through techniques such as layering, overlapping, and changes in size.

Shapes can be used to represent subject matter as realistically as possible, as seen in still-life paintings; examples can include
  • Paul Cézanne, Apples and Oranges, c. 1899
  • Willem van Aelst, Still Life with Flowers, c. 1665
Shapes and lines can be organized to achieve symmetrical balance in artworks and architecture, as seen in
  • Alberta Legislature Building, Allan Merrick Jeffers and Richard Blakey,Edmonton, Alberta
  • American 19th Century, Cutout of Animals, second quarter 19th century
  • The Ardabil Carpet, 1539–1540
Asymmetrical balance is seen in artworks where each half of the work looks different but still has visual balance, as seen in
  • Daphne Odjig, Tribute to the Great Chiefs of the Past, 1975
  • Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii, c. 1784
  • Ruben Komangapik, Light is Life, 2002
Shapes can convey meaning in the way they are organized within artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how shapes are used within artworks to convey a message.

Experiment with how to achieve symmetrical and asymmetrical balance in artworks.

Experiment with how shapes can be used to show depth and distance.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented through artworks that draw upon foundational visual arts knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can messages be represented visually?
Guiding Question
How can messages in visual arts reflect what we value and understand?
Guiding Question
How can a narrative contribute to creating and presenting artworks?
Learning Outcome
Students experiment with how messages can be communicated in and through visual arts.
Learning Outcome
Students represent messages through artistic choices related to the elements of art.
Learning Outcome
Students employ narrative as a structure for organizing ideas in artworks.
Artists communicate messages about their artworks through
  • writing about art
  • titles
  • talking about art
  • using visual art vocabulary
A message can be communicated through spoken and written language.
Skills & Procedures
Present a title and description for an artwork that incorporates visual arts vocabulary.

Share interpretations of artworks with others.
Tools, techniques, materials, and media can be used in traditional and non-traditional ways to create a message.

New methods of creating art can be revealed through experimentation and unexpected discoveries.

A message in visual arts can convey meaning through the use of illusions in artworks.

Illusions such as depth, distance, or movement can be created through
  • line—linear or one-point perspective
  • colour—gradation
  • texture—hatching, cross-hatching, layering
  • shape—layering, overlapping, changing size and position on the picture plane
  • value—tints and shades
The use of colour, including black and white, can create optical illusions in art when combined with shape, space, and lines.

Line can be used to create depth and distance as seen in landscapes that feature middle ground, background, and foreground.

Principles of design, including emphasis and contrast, can guide the way that artists use the elements of art to create a message.
Artists intentionally choose ways to effectively share a message.

Artists can combine the elements of art in an infinite number of ways to communicate a message.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks through experimental and informed artistic choices.

Explore how colour, line, shape, and texture can be combined for a purpose in artworks.

Experiment with how the principles of design can enhance the communication of a message.

Create artworks that feature illusions of depth, distance, or movement.

Explore a variety of ways to create two- and three-dimensional works of art that reflect a message.
Inspiration for a narrative may come from
  • stories
  • music
  • various forms of media
  • real people or characters
  • experiences
  • imagination
  • the environment
A narrative in visual arts may or may not represent a sequence of events in the order in which they happened.

A variety of media can be used to illustrate the order of events in a narrative, including storyboards, paintings, and fabric arts.

Pictures can be grouped in sets (diptych or triptych) as seen in
  • Andrew Salgado, 20 Years, 2014
  • Robert Campin, The Merode Altarpiece, c. 1427–1432
A narrative in art can be depicted in two- and three-dimensional works, as seen in
  • Basawan and Chetar Munti, Akbar’s Adventure with the Elephant Hawa’i, c. 1561
  • Helen Granger Young, The Famous Five Monument, c. 2010
The structure of a narrative in visual arts can be represented using motifs, metaphors, and themes.
A narrative in artworks can be illustrated as a partial or whole representation.

A narrative can be factual or fictitious.
Skills & Procedures
Choose an inspiration for representing a narrative.

Create two- and three-dimensional works of art to convey a narrative.
The elements of art can communicate a message in artworks, including
  • the use of colour
  • varying the physical characteristics of line
  • adjusting value
  • adding shapes
  • adjusting contour of line and shape
  • organization of line, shape, and colour
  • adding texture
Balance, variety, and contrast (principles of design) can help guide how a message is communicated within artworks.

The mood or emotion conveyed in an artwork can be influenced by
  • personal experiences
  • events
  • memories
  • culture
  • the use of the elements of art
The physical characteristics of line can be used to represent subject matter realistically.

Artists can choose a specific type of media to communicate how a message is revealed in artworks.

Cultures can communicate a message through the use of
  • ideograms
  • pictorial symbols
  • objects
  • sounds
  • letters
  • numbers
  • musical notation
Non-verbal communication of a message in visual arts can be shared in a variety of ways.

A message conveyed through visual arts can carry a variety of emotions and experiences.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate how lines and shapes can form symbols that communicate a message.

Make artistic choices to shape the development of a message in visual arts.

Apply principles of design to artworks.

Explore how to represent mood or emotion in artworks.
Messages can represent a variety of things, including ideas, experiences, and feelings.

Inspiration for creating a message in visual arts can come from a variety of sources, including other artists or artworks, imagination, or stories.

The circle is a symbol that can communicate a message in visual arts, including connection, unity, and cycles.

The circle in First Nations, Métis, or Inuit visual art forms is used to symbolize elements and patterns of the natural world.

Messages in visual arts can be conveyed through the use of patterns, signs, and symbols.

Creative processes can help an artist clarify what they mean to communicate.

The message an artist intends to communicate through an artwork can be clarified
  • through the use of titles and descriptions
  • by stepping back to view and reflect on the artwork
  • by discussing the artwork with others
Messages can evoke different responses from a viewer based on their beliefs, preferences, and feelings.

Artworks can be created for an intended audience.

Some topics or themes represented through artworks can be sensitive to some viewers.
A message is at the centre of communication in visual arts.

Viewing art includes receiving and interpreting messages communicated through artworks.

Messages can represent what an artist means to communicate through artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks based on an inspiration.

Create a message in artworks through the use of patterns, signs, and symbols.

Create a title and description to accompany a work of art.

Employ creative processes when representing a message in artworks.

Participate as an artist and as an audience member in a variety of visual arts experiences.
Group expression in visual arts can be seen in murals, community artworks, and cultural artifacts.

Points of view or perspectives can reflect ideas, experiences, and culture.

Warm and cool colours can represent feelings in a narrative.

Texture can create mood or evoke an emotional response when incorporated into artworks.

Principles of design, including harmony and contrast, can influence how well the elements of art work together to communicate a narrative.
A narrative can communicate points of view or perspectives of an individual or a group.

Feelings and mood can be interpreted visually through the use of line, shape, and colour.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks from various perspectives.

Explore how principles of design can enhance communication of a narrative.

Explore how the elements of art can be used to communicate mood or feelings.

Investigate how the elements of art can be used to represent perspective in artworks.
A message in visual arts can be generated, sent, received, and interpreted.

Presentations of artworks can be done through informal events, such as sharing in an art class, or formal events, including art shows or art galleries.

An artwork can reflect an artist’s style, which may reflect personal preferences related to creating art.

Empathy and perspectives can be gained through creating, viewing, and talking about art.

Expectations for participating in visual arts, known as artistic protocols and etiquette, can change depending on the context of the experience.
The sharing of a message involves the artist and the audience.

Audience members can have various feelings about artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Participate as an artist and audience member in various art experiences.

Share artworks with others.

Demonstrate an understanding of artistic protocols and etiquette within various visual arts experiences.

Create artworks that express personal preferences.
An artist can shape a narrative through the use of
  • elements of art
  • creative processes
  • media
  • tools, techniques, and methods
  • experimentation or informed artistic choices
A curator chooses how artworks are displayed, which can shape the way a narrative is presented.

Additional information about a narrative can be communicated through titles and descriptions about the artwork.

A narrative told through visual arts can be combined with other art forms, including dance, drama, and music.
A narrative in visual arts can be shaped by the artist, curator, or viewer.

A viewer’s reaction to an artwork can be in response to how the artwork is presented or created.
Skills & Procedures
Make experimental and informed artistic choices when creating artworks.

Accompany artworks with titles and descriptions of a narrative.

Experiment with how displaying an artwork can influence how it is viewed.
Creative processes can include
  • generating an idea
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • experimentation
  • practice
  • reflection
Generating an idea in visual arts may involve creative thinking and problem solving.

Artists may step back to view their artwork and discuss it with others before considering it to be finished.
Development of a message in visual arts can involve creative processes.

Messages can be clearly communicated when elements of art are combined with purpose.

Problems related to creating art can be solved by asking for feedback and by practising.
Skills & Procedures
Apply creative processes when creating artworks.

Add finishing touches to an artwork.

Organizing Idea
Appreciation: Recognizing beauty, goodness, and truth in visual arts can be developed by understanding the complexity and richness of great artworks, the artists who create them, and the historical and cultural contexts from which they originate.
Guiding Question
How might cultures from the past and present contribute to an appreciation of visual arts?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of culture contribute to learning about visual arts in ancient Rome and New France?
Guiding Question
What is the role of culture in shaping the visual arts from medieval Europe, medieval Islam, and Alberta?
Learning Outcome
Students investigate culture in relation to artworks from ancient Greece and present day.

Students examine culture through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.
Learning Outcome
Students relate visual arts cultures of the past with those of the modern day.
Learning Outcome
Students relate how culture is reflected in visual arts across time and place.
Experiences in visual arts can include learning about artworks from the past and the people who created them.

Individual components of an artwork can communicate culture, including the use of colour, line, shapes, and media.

Ancient Greeks valued pottery as a form of art and made vases that were admired for their beauty and function.

In ancient Greece, vases were commonly painted black and red using a feather or animal tail for a brush.

In ancient Greece, artists had their own style for painting vases that usually included
  • geometric shapes
  • pictures of humans and animals
  • family life
  • stories
Ancient Greeks introduced the technique of adding wrinkles in cloth to paintings.

Ancient Greeks made very realistic sculptures of people from marble and bronze, as seen in
  • Nike, 490 BCE
  • Winged Victory of Samothrace, 190 BCE
Ancient Greek architecture was inspired by the ancient Egyptians, as seen in
  • Palace of Knossos
  • The Lion Gate of the Palace of Agamemnon
  • Athenian Acropolis
  • The Agora
The Parthenon is a temple in Athens that highlights
  • symmetry
  • length and width
  • size and spacing of columns
  • proportions
Culture is what people do, and is a way of thinking.

Artworks from various times and places can be representative of a culture.
Skills & Procedures
Identify how culture may be communicated through various types of artworks.

Examine ancient Greek artworks and architecture as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.

Discuss the use of symmetry in ancient Greek architecture.

From historical times to today, cultures value artworks for a variety of reasons, including
  • beauty
  • artistic expression
  • cultural or religious expression
  • representation of a culture or society
  • historical documentation
Using vocabulary related to the elements of art can contribute to discussions about art.

Artistic protocols and etiquette may change based on the community, culture, or presentation of artworks.

The topics or themes expressed through artworks may have a particular significance to the culture, time, and place in which the artworks were created.
Artworks are valued differently across cultures throughout history.

Artistic communities can be a venue for artistic expression within various cultures.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how artworks are valued in one’s life and culture.

Demonstrate how to follow artistic protocols and etiquette in various visual arts experiences.

Use visual arts vocabulary when responding to artworks.
Culture can be enhanced when artistic communities participate, communicate, are engaged, and share responsibilities.

The culture of an artistic community can support the caring and respectful inclusion of all participants.
When communities unite through the arts, culture can be learned.

The culture of an artistic community is about shared ways of being together and reaching common goals.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in visual arts as a member of an artistic community.

Demonstrate how artistic roles and responsibilities contribute to a sense of community.
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks can reflect aspects of culture, including
  • history
  • relationships
  • ways of life
  • traditional teachings
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists often use materials from the natural world, including
  • bark
  • hide
  • fur
  • feathers
  • quills
  • sinew
  • bones
  • fish scales
  • berries
  • iron and copper
  • roots
Traditional First Nations, Métis, and Inuit art forms can include
  • beading
  • fish-scale art
  • ivory and soapstone carving
  • wood carving
  • sculpture
  • textiles
  • weaving
Making art in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities can be holistic in nature and have individual and collective benefits, including
  • social well-being
  • physical health
  • spiritual connection
  • emotional and mental well-being
  • intellectual development
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks are often inspired by the natural world and stories, as seen in
  • Bill Reid, Killer Whale, Chief of the Undersea World, c. 1984
  • Elsie Klengenberg, Going Down River, 1989
  • Jason Carter, Play Grizzly, c. 2009
Culture can be revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

A sense of community and well-being among participants can be established through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how culture can be communicated through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

View artworks by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists as an inspiration for talking about art.

Discuss how creating artworks can contribute to personal well-being.
Ancient Roman artworks were inspired by the ancient Greeks and other ancient cultures.

Artworks in ancient Rome were valued for their ability to communicate ways of life and historical events.

Semicircular arches were so common among Roman architecture that these arches are now known as Roman arches.

The principles of design, including balance, repetition, and harmony, apply to ancient Roman architecture, and can be seen in
  • Basilica of Maxentius
  • Le Pont du Gard
  • Roman Theatre of Orange
  • The Colosseum
  • The Pantheon
Roman pottery was a functional form of artwork in ancient Rome and was categorized as follows:
  • Fine ware were formal and decorative pottery pieces.
  • Coarse ware were used for daily purposes such as cooking or food storage.
Ancient Roman pottery was engraved and glazed as a form of decoration, unlike Greek pottery that was painted with designs and images.

Ancient Roman artworks have been found preserved in Pompeii and include
  • murals painted into the plastered walls of buildings (frescoes)
  • images made from tiny pieces of glass or ceramic (mosaics)
Ancient Roman culture was reflected through artworks and architecture.

The culture of ancient Rome has an influence on modern day artworks.
Skills & Procedures
View artworks and architecture from ancient Rome as an inspiration for creating art.

Compare art forms and architecture from ancient Rome to those of modern day.
Visual artwork in Alberta has been influenced by the histories and traditions of artists from a variety of cultures.

Petroglyphs are a form of written text that some societies have interpreted as visual art.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta has many examples of First Nations petroglyphs.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit share knowledge through artworks that can include
  • stone, wood, and bone carvings
  • pottery
  • embroidery
  • porcupine quillwork
  • birchbark art
  • geometric patterns and motifs on hide
  • beading
  • weaving
  • paintings
The Métis people of Alberta are renowned for their floral beadwork.

Lawren Harris (1885–1970) was a member of an influential group of Canadian artists called the Group of Seven that captured the Alberta landscape in oil paintings.
Visual arts in Alberta can reflect the culture of those who came before us and those who live here now.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate information shared through petroglyphs found in Alberta.

Explore the significance of local artworks.

Create visual art that reflects the history or traditions of Alberta.

Discuss examples of knowledge that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit can share through artworks.
First Nations cultures in New France had established artistic traditions prior to the arrival of Europeans, including moose hair tufting, quilling, and embroidery work.

First Nations artworks in New France reflected traditions and beliefs that continue to be honoured and celebrated today by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

Protocols related to how or with whom artworks are created and shared were part of First Nations cultures in New France and continue to hold significant importance today.

Art forms used in New France continue to be used today, including
  • sculpting
  • painting
  • metal work with gold and silver
  • woodworking
  • textiles
  • printmaking (lithography)
  • stained glass
  • architecture
The building of churches in New France was funded by the churches in Europe and often included
  • stained glass
  • altars
  • statues
  • chalices
The ceinture fléchée is a colourful, patterned sash that emerged as functional clothing from the New France era.

The ceinture fléchée is representative of the cultural heritage of French-Canadians and Métis.
Artworks in New France served a variety of purposes for the diverse groups of people who lived there.

Art forms from New France continue to influence Canadian art today.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how culture is revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

View a variety of artworks from French-Canadian artists, past and present, as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.
Medieval European artworks were often based on people and events from religious stories and classical myths, including
  • heroes, heroines, and gods that are still commonly referenced in English literature, in brand names, and in everyday writing and conversation
  • people and events narrated in Jewish and Christian stories
The Book of Kells is a medieval manuscript in which decorations, including images and borders, accompany the text.

Tapestries, including The Unicorn Tapestries, were woven artworks that could communicate information about
  • history
  • legends
  • religious teachings
  • everyday life
Architecture in the Middle Ages was often built with consideration for protecting the people inside the buildings, including castles on rocky hilltops and homes surrounded by walls.

Architectural styles from the Middle Ages still exist today, some of which can be seen in
  • Carolingian—Palatine Chapel
  • Gothic—Westminster Abbey, Old-New Synagogue of Prague, and Hôtel-Dieu
  • Ostrogothic—Basilica of San Vitale
  • Romanesque or Norman—Abbaye de Cluny, Durham Cathedral, and Carcassonne
Gothic cathedrals were built with specific and important architectural styles, including
  • spires
  • pointed arches
  • flying buttresses
  • rose windows
  • stained glass and statues
  • gargoyles
Traditional Gothic cathedrals can be viewed today, as seen in
  • Notre-Dame in Paris, France
  • Our Lady of Chartres in Chartres, France
Artworks in medieval Islam discouraged the use of shapes and detailed patterns to depict the human form.

Islamic artworks used decorative forms of art, including
  • calligraphy
  • folk pottery
  • rugs and carpets

Decorative designs on ceramics and folk pottery included
  • inscriptions and proverbs
  • animals, usually birds from the folkloric past
  • geometric designs
  • abstract patterns
Islamic books or manuscripts were illustrated in a style called illumination, which often featured complex patterns and designs using geometric, botanical, and animal forms.

Silk weaving led to the art form of carpets in Islamic art, which included elaborate patterns and bright colours.

Medieval Islamic architecture can be seen in
  • Alhambra Palace, 1238–1358, in Granada, Spain
  • The Great Mosque of Cordoba, 784–1146 CE
A mosque is a central gathering place required for common prayer and community gatherings.

A hypostyle mosque is an architectural design where the roof rested upon pillars or columns.
Culture was revealed through the artworks of the Middle Ages.
Skills & Procedures
View artworks and architecture from the Middle Ages as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.

Design artworks using the decorative styles of the Middle Ages.