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Anchor Standards, Essential Questions, Enduring Understandings at a Glance

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

Visual Art Standards


CREATING: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work.

Anchor Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.

  • Artists and designers shape artistic investigations, following or breaking with traditions in pursuit of creative artmaking goals.

Essential Questions:

  • What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks?

  • How does collaboration expand the creative process?

  • How does knowing the contexts histories, and traditions of art forms help us create works of art and design?

  • Why do artists follow or break from established traditions?

  • How do artists determine what resources and criteria are needed to formulate artistic investigations?

Anchor Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and art-making approaches.

  • Artists and designers balance experimentation and safety, freedom and responsibility while developing and creating artworks.

  • People create and interact with objects, places, and design that define, shape, enhance, and empower their lives.

Essential Questions:

  • How do artists work?

  • How do artists and designers determine whether a particular direction in their work is effective?

  • How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?

  • How do artists and designers care for and maintain materials, tools, and equipment?

  • Why is it important for safety and health to understand and follow correct procedures in handling materials, tools, and equipment?

  • What responsibilities come with the freedom to create?

  • How do objects, places, and design shape lives and communities?

  • How do artists and designers determine goals for designing or redesigning objects, places, or systems?

  • How do artists and designers create works of art or design that effectively communicate?

Anchor Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time.

Essential Questions:

  • What role does persistence play in revising, refining, and developing work?

  • How do artists grow and become accomplished in art forms?

  • How does collaboratively reflecting on a work help us experience it more completely?


PRESENTING: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work.

Anchor Standard #4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Artists and other presenters consider various techniques, methods, venues, and criteria when analyzing, selecting, and curating objects artifacts, and artworks for preservation and presentation.

Essential Questions:

  • How are artworks cared for and by whom?

  • What criteria, methods, and processes are used to select work for preservation or presentation?

  • Why do people value objects, artifacts, and artworks, and select them for presentation?

Anchor Standard #5: Develop and refine artistic work for presentation.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Artists, curators and others consider a variety of factors and methods including evolving technologies when preparing and refining artwork for display and or when deciding if and how to preserve and protect it.

Essential Questions:

  • What methods and processes are considered when preparing artwork for presentation or preservation?

  • How does refining artwork affect its meaning to the viewer?

  • What criteria are considered when selecting work for presentation, a portfolio, or a collection?

Anchor Standard #6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Objects, artifacts, and artworks collected, preserved, or presented either by artists, museums, or other venues communicate meaning and a record of social, cultural, and political experiences resulting in the cultivating of appreciation and understanding.

Essential Questions:

  • What is an art museum?

  • How does the presenting and sharing of objects, artifacts, and artworks influence and shape ideas, beliefs, and experiences?

  • How do objects, artifacts, and artworks collected, preserved, or presented, cultivate appreciation and understanding?


RESPONDING: Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning.

Anchor Standard #7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Individual aesthetic and empathetic awareness developed through engagement with art can lead to understanding and appreciation of self, others, the natural world, and constructed environments.

  • Visual imagery influences understanding of and responses to the world

Essential Questions:

  • How do life experiences influence the way you relate to art?

  • How does learning about art impact how we perceive the world?

  • What can we learn from our responses to art?

  • What is an image?

  • Where and how do we encounter images in our world?

  • How do images influence our views of the world?

Anchor Standard #8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • People gain insights into meanings of artworks by engaging in the process of art criticism

Essential Questions:

  • What is the value of engaging in the process of art criticism?

  • How can the viewer "read" a work of art as text?

  • How does knowing and using visual art vocabularies help us understand and interpret works of art?

Anchor Standard #9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

Enduring Understandings:

  • People evaluate art based on various criteria.

Essential Questions:

  • How does one determine criteria to evaluate a work of art?

  • How and why might criteria vary?

  • How is a personal preference different from an evaluation?


CONNECTING: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.

Anchor Standard #10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Through art-making, people make meaning by investigating and developing awareness of perceptions, knowledge, and experiences.

Essential Questions:

  • How does engaging in creating art enrich people's lives?

  • How does making art attune people to their surroundings?

  • How do people contribute to awareness and understanding of their lives and the lives of their communities through art-making?

Anchor Standard #11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.

Enduring Understandings:

  • People develop ideas and understandings of society, culture, and history through their interactions with and analysis of art.

Essential Questions:

  • How does art help us understand the lives of people of different times, places, and cultures?

  • How is art used to impact the views of a society?

  • How does art preserve aspects of life?



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