Dixon School of the Arts & Science is the premier art school in Pensacola, Florida. The art program at Dixon not only teaches the foundations of art by studying and applying the principles of art and design but extends deeper into creative exploration and expression.
There is a distinct correlation between art education and academic achievement. Research has identified six benefits of art and student achievement including reading and language, math, thinking, social skills, motivation to learn and a positive school environment.
There are four major components of the Dixon art program that demonstrate the benefits of art and student achievement and set us apart from other schools in the area. These include the Visiting Artist Program use of professional materials, exposure via an abundance of field trips, and integration of visual and performing arts in the core curriculum.
The Visiting Artist program at Dixon brings world-renowned artists to our scholars for two week-long focused sessions every four to six weeks. Our visiting artists in residence are Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson, both who have had their work shown in galleries around the world. Shaughnessy was commissioned by significant public figures, including Michael Jordan, and Lisa was recognized in 2002 for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for her outstanding influence as an art teacher.
Because dance is a brain-driven art, it becomes fuel for learning subjects other than dancing. One of our visiting artists is Nehemiah Spencer who is a Juilliard graduate and dances for a world renown dance company in New York City, Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Mr. Spencer teaches technique and inspires our scholars with the language of dance.
Dixon also welcomes other artists on a regular basis, including artists specializing in jewelry and the performing arts. With these experiences comes the use of professional materials, which not only yields higher quality artwork but also exposes the scholars to the real-life experiences of working artists.
The use of professional materials also offers our scholars the opportunity to see and explore a variety of mediums in which they may have a talent or interest. It’s an introduction to new vocabulary, new techniques, and new genres via unique artists.
The scholars learn how and use a variety of materials in visual arts like clay, marble, ceramic tiles, wood, pastels, glass, steel, and copper. In the performing arts, Dixon students are exposed to professional dancers, musicians, and actors as well as individuals who specialize in areas such as ballet, jazz, tap, choir, theater, and steel pan.
Further, at Dixon School of the Arts and Science, we believe the most lasting educational experiences sometimes occur outside the four walls of the classroom. For this reason, we offer many field trips and take every opportunity to expose our students to the local art community. From trips downtown to partake in artistic scavenger hunts, to tours of the myriad of galleries here in our hometown, our students are encouraged to interact with the world around them to develop their perspective as artists.
When we’re not on field trips, art is also woven into the curriculum in the primary classrooms as a means to deepen understanding and provoke interest in core academic subjects.
The integration of dance, drama, visual arts and music into our school curriculum improves our scholar’s learning, memory, reading readiness, conflict resolution skills, social skills, reasoning, and math proficiency as well as creating a positive learning environment. This integration is accomplished through Dixon’s gifted full-time teachers of art, music, and dance.
Not only have they accomplished artists in their personal and professional lives, but they also bring their love for our scholars, a collaborative spirit, and artistic culture and integrate it into the core curriculum in each classroom. They are instrumental in laying the foundation upon which our scholars can excel in their artistry and gain valuable insights from the visiting artists.
In short, the arts program at Dixon School of the Arts and Science makes significant contributions in helping our scholars achieve success in school and life.