Welcome to Catholic Academy of West Buffalo Art! My name is Ms. Jennifer Smyczynski and I look forward to sharing my appreciation of the arts with the students.

My Art Teaching Philosophy:
The arts are an essential part of the curriculum and visual art is present in everything we do. Artistic practice is beneficial in the art room as well as other subject areas and aspects of life. Art allows for creative thinking and problem solving in addition to building knowledge of art and art history. I believe that through art, students can express themselves, have a creative outlet, and find new ways of questioning, thinking, and learning. I also believe it is important to integrate science, history, math, and technology as well as other subjects in lessons and projects because of art’s connection to multiple disciplines. My philosophy also includes the understanding of child development, artistic development, and the different ways in which students learn. While I want students to learn the foundations of art, above all, my goal is for students to be in a safe environment where they are encouraged to learn, explore, and hopefully have some fun along the way!

What Can You Expect In The Art-Room? Students and parents can expect there to be learning about a variety of artists and art making processes in every grade level as well as the integration of technology and other subjects for a well rounded and engaging curriculum.

Art – February 2020 

The projects and units for all grade levels are focused on the elements and principles of art as well as the themes for their grade levels. With most of the projects from January completed, it is once again time to move on to new and fun projects and topics! Third and Fourth grade will be working on Doodle for Google in class, students in Fifth to Eighth grade are welcome to participate in the contest as well but it will not be a lesson in their classes.

PreK and Kindergarten are creating winter themed art projects in February. These projects are focusing on practicing use of liquid glue, color mixing, paper folding and more! They will be introduced to primary and secondary colors through books, songs, printmaking, and coloring challenges.

First Grade has completed their projects inspired by the book Blue Spot by: Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay from Walt Disney Animation Studios Artist Showcase, students learned more about art that tells a story and will now be introduced to the element of art: texture, for their new projects 

Second Grade has completed the Coffee Filter Snowflakes to learn about color mixing and to experiment with art materials and will be working on a Symmetry Mittens project using oil pastels and patterns.  

Third Grade has completed a landscape project inspired by the artist Jen Aranyi’s work. Aranyi’s work and work similar are popular online, especially on Instagram. The new project this month is the Doodle for Google contest and project with the theme “I show kindness by…” 

Fourth Grade has completed the Dennis Barraclough project inspired by a local artist and used triadic, analogous or complementary color schemes. This month they will also be participating in the Doodle for Google contest and using the theme “I show kindness by…” to complete their projects. 

Fifth Grade has completed the Op Art Shaded Shapes project inspired by optical illusions. Students are now beginning a new project based on the topic of cardboard architecture which was introduced by a video about The Wikklehouse by Fiction Factory and inspired by architects Buckminster Fuller, Shigeru Ban, and Toby Horricks. Students will be creating their own scale models of a building or structure that is made of cardboard and designed to be environmentally friendly. 

Sixth Grade is continuing their work on a project inspired by Georges Seurat and Pointillism. Students have planned out their image or design and are using a dotting technique to create their painting.  

Seventh and Eighth Grade  completed a project inspired by local artist, Dennis Bertram. Students are now on a new project based on contemporary food art/photography and the use of food in art throughout history. The main artist focused on will be Wayne Thiebaud and his colorful paintings.



Art Overview

The Art curriculum at Catholic Academy helps to develop personal expression, an application of diverse art styles and art history, plus an understanding of art in our lives and as a career. All grades use a variety of media and visuals. Technology, through individual internet assignments and classroom use of the internet, enables a more thorough experience. Field Trips are also utilized for grades K - 8.

The formal elements of art, along with the post-modern theory of art, are combined to create a traditional, yet contemporary curriculum. The formal elements of art and storytelling through art are emphasized in Pre-K to grade 3. This will build a foundation for the thematic and cognitive aspects of grades 4 - 8. 4th grade will focus on historical and contemporary artists from around the world and the local Buffalo area as well as inventions and techniques in art. 5th grade will have an emphasis on an art, science and ecology curriculum. There will be experimentation with materials as well as appreciation of nature and ways of reusing and recycling to be less wasteful in the art room.In this grade, writing about art will be introduced. 6th grade will familiarize themselves with the various styles throughout art history, particularly modern and contemporary art. 7th and 8th grade will have the opportunity for more extended projects. In class projects may be supported by out of class research papers and field trips. In the past, we have also received grants for ceramics, photography and a video project.

Miss. Jennifer Smyczynski – Art





Ms. Jennifer Smyczynski - Art