Youth Program - Academics

Week 1 - Science Fiction

It’s a great way to learn new techniques. The teachers are great and the projects are really fun. – Tessa, Age 11

The PNCA Youth Program offers a wide range of unique art and design classes for children and teens throughout the year. Our school-year courses, smARTworks, and teen workshops serve students between the ages of 4 and 16 years of age. For our younger students, our program is focused around investigative inquiry and play, similar to the Reggio Emilia approach. Reggio principles such as experiential and student directed learning, and the cultivation of student relationships and collaboration are emphasized during the curriculum creation process. For older students this emphasis on experimentation and artistic discovery is paired with a focus on deeper conceptualization of ideas and technical rigor.

The PNCA Youth Program also looks to the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge Visual Art Standards. Great care is taken to ensure that Youth Program students meet appropriate content and achievement standards at the Elementary, Middle School and early Secondary School level.

The mission of the Youth Program, like that of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, is to provide educational opportunities for children and teens. Our goal is to develop students into knowledgeable, practicing visual artists with the ability to contribute to the ongoing dialogue in art and the shaping of our culture. We want to help foster the next generation of artists.

In order to accomplish this mission, the program strives to achieve the following goals:

-To provide students with exposure to a variety of media
-To provide an educational, nurturing and supportive environment.
-To provide fundamental, technical and theoretical skills.
-To create curriculum that is inclusive of cultural & historical perspectives.
-To provide instruction utilizing high quality educators.
-To recruit an openly diverse community of students.
-To incorporate critical thinking and creative problem solving into the curriculum.
-To ensure faculty have an awareness of child development and create curriculum specific to age related developments.
-To provide students with the opportunity and encouragement to use self-expression and visual awareness with the goal of enabling students to use art as a lens to investigate the world.

With our mission and goals in mind we also hope that students of the Youth Program will:

-Build self-esteem and a stronger ability to represent oneself as an artist.
-Be able to apply the skills he/she has learned in the program and carry the experience of our creative environment into other endeavors.
-Gain the ability to evaluate one’s own work
-Have an understanding of a variety of materials and their quality.
-Communicate using common art vocabulary.
-Possess self-management skills and the ability to work effectively in a group or community environment.
-Understand the role of artists in community, society and culture.

“smARTworks expects more of the kids and the kids deliver. The kids are often surprised at what they tried, learned and accomplished, and I love that.” – Youth Program Parent, 2014

Week 2: Science Fiction

Youth Program Staff and Faculty take great care to create a learning environment that is both engaging artistically and acts as a safe space, where all students feel respected, and where their ideas and art are valued. When a child feels safe and respected greater learning and experimentation can take place in Youth Program classrooms. Youth Program Faculty are encouraged to develop curriculum that integrates inclusive language, multiculturalism, and multiple historical perspectives.

Animal Art

In our classrooms we encourage the creative skills of pretending, imaginative thinking, and inventiveness during the art making process. These skills help children deal with the world in which they live and process the things that they see everyday. Additionally, we emphasize skills associated with problem solving, getting along with others, and looking at the world through alternative points of view.

Youth Program Teaching Internship

Art + Storytelling: Puppets

The Youth Program Teaching Internship provides BFA and MFA students at PNCA with a unique opportunity for pedagogical training and hands-on experience in K – 12 art education. With academic components enhancing onsite work, interns build rich and varied experiences surrounding art education theory and practice.

At PNCA, interns receive pedagogical training under the direction of the Youth Program Coordinator and Youth Program Faculty. This academic study provides grounding in fundamental teaching strategies and principles including classroom management, lesson ideation and implementation, the role of different teaching approaches in the classroom, and children’s stages of artistic development.

Interns work directly with youth students for the duration of the internship. By assisting PNCA Youth Faculty in the instruction of Elementary, Mid-Level and Secondary age students, interns learn ways to translate their pedagogical training into successful delivery of youth art education.

Art Explorers

Over the course of the internship semester, interns learn to create and present lesson plans, complete a series of journal entries examining readings and special presentations, as well as a variety of other tasks to enhance their understanding of the arts and how to teach them to a younger audience. Prior to entering a Youth Program classroom, Interns also complete a series of rigorous trainings including First Aid and CPR training, and those associated with the Youth Program’s Safety and Media Policies.

Many BFA and MFA students that have participated in the Youth Program Teaching Internship have gone on to work with the PNCA’s smARTworks Program, instruct ABC Classes on Saturdays, teach in other educational programs around the state, or pursue a graduate degree in Art Education after graduating from PNCA.


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Recent Work

smARTworks 2011 "Dawn of Humans"
Youth Program Portrait Exhibition
Winter of 2011 CE Youth Program

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