Lake Oswego's Art Literacy Program

  • Lake Oswego’s Art Literacy Program is a volunteer-based program sponsored by each school’s PTO that acquaints over 5,000 Lake Oswego students with art from around the world each year. The Art Literacy curriculum follows the Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE) approach, which is an ongoing course of study that allows children to continually grow in their ability to make and understand art.

    Art Literacy presentations are tailored to the developmental level of the students. Whether our volunteers present the art of Renoir, the Aboriginals, or the Renaissance, they shape the material to match the students’ abilities. In addition, our hands-on approach allows children to learn by doing. 


    The term "Discipline Based Art Education" (DBAE) defines new approaches to art education based on established principles of scholarship. DBAE, which regards art as general education, is a sequential, written curriculum that focuses on four art disciplines:

    • Aesthetics questions the nature and value of art.
    • Art Criticism analyzes art objectively.
    • Art History studies the cultural and historical setting.
    • Production includes the concepts and skills required in making art.

    "Aesthetic scanning" is an integral part of a DBAE lesson. Through a series of questions, students discover what is in the work of art. They analyze sensory, formal, technical and expressive properties of the artwork. With this approach, students begin to use art vocabulary, discuss historical facts and ask questions about art. They may incorporate the properties they see in their own work.

    Learn more about the district-wide program here:


    Classroom volunteers present works of art with related historical and cultural background and describe art elements and art principles to the students. After viewing and discussing an artist's work, students express their creativity using different media or techniques. The hands-on projects are designed specifically to reflect the art they are exploring.

    Interested in volunteering? Contact our Hallinan Art Literacy Co-Coordinators for 2019-2020 at or go to the Volunteering page to sign up.