ART PROGRAM - Mr. Troy Meek


The art program at WHCS is a three year long progressive educational process that provides  students the ability to explore a variety of media and process as they discover a sense of ‘self’. 

The program is sequential in that the first year, emphasis is placed on understanding the elements of art and principals of design; providing  a foundation of skills further developed  in the next two years of study.   Students build skills as they form a sense of how the various ‘elements’ can be manipulated in a composition to create a dynamic artwork.  The elements of art are the foundation of any artwork.  The elements are studied via lessons that help students develop finesse in the specific qualities or attributes each has, and how it may be used/ placed in an artwork to create a particular vision the student may have.  The academic year is divided into to two semesters of study.  The first semester’s focus is on two-dimensional art forms, the second is on exploring three-dimensional art.

During the year students are introduced not only to skill building but to the history of Art and hopefully come to an appreciation of various movements and periods that have influenced our society in general.  Lessons are balanced with a continuation of honoring traditional ancestral technique and imagery.  This is done by discussing the development of various historical works and artists of various Pueblos of New Mexico.  Invited artists add to our program, and each year we have a traditional Drum-making workshop, and a traditional basket weaving workshop which are aligned with our science and biology classes.

Tenth graders experience more independence in their art projects - emphasis is on personal development and a sense of expression.  Skill development in the first semester emphasizes the ability to see the world around them and convey that through a variety of drawing lessons.  Students at this age seem to find drawing both interesting and a challenge.  The lessons are often assignments based on a unit of study, fostering deeper understanding. 

Our dual-credit program in 11th grade provides students with College credit upon graduation and the third year of Art at Walatowa is directed by collaboration with I.A.I.A. in Santa Fe.  Our year of study is split into two semesters with the first emphasizing two-dimensional artwork and the second on 3D concepts and art forms.  We as a class work towards understanding contemporary art, how culture influences various  art forms, and the message/intent of the artists that we study.  Our curriculum is paired with the required text : Launching the Imagination and the lessons parallel the required text.

One of many goals is a cross-curriculum approach to our instruction, that pairs several units during the year with other instructors at W.HC.S.   This approach provides students of various learning styles a more engaging learning experience.