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Art and Design Education

Art and Design Education programs include Visual Thinking in the areas of:  

  • Design (Utilitarian Art through environment design like architecture, landscape, urban planning, interior design, etc.; object design like products, furniture, transportation, fashion, appliances, etc.; information design like publications, websites, video, film, photography, etc.; and experience design like interactive exhibits, toys, games, events, theme parks, etc.),

  • Visual Communication (Information Art involving maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, media tools etc.)

  • Visual Culture (Everyday Art exploring one’s own and other’s culture which may involve crafts, festivals, costumes, mascots, lawn decorations, folk art, etc.)

  • Fine Art (Professional Art through drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, media arts, and so on,)

Administrative Rule PI 8.01(2)(j)

Wisconsin Education Standards j, k, and l articulates that “art instruction shall be provided in accordance with a written comprehensive art curriculum which is based on concepts developed through sensory awareness, aesthetic discrimination and skill development in the creation of art, and the knowledge of human art heritage. Art instruction shall be provided for all pupils in grades kindergarten through 6 and shall be performed by or under the direction of a licensed art teacher. Art instruction shall be available to all pupils in grades 7 through 12 and shall be taught by a licensed art teacher.”

Specific information about programming and curriculum design is available through two publications - Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Art and Design Education (2000), and Planning Curriculum in Art and Design (2013). You may purchase Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Art and Design Education (2000) at DPI Publication Sales or 800-243-8782. Districts are free to consider the standards of their choosing in their work.

New Academic Standards for Art and Design Review in Process.

Standards Review
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has a transparent and comprehensive process for reviewing and revising academic standards. The process begins with a notice of intent to review an academic area with a public comment period. The State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council examines those comments and recommends whether to revise those standards or continue with the existing standards. If a revision is needed, a state writing committee is formed to work on revision or development of those standards for all grade levels. That draft is then made available for open review to get feedback from the public, key stakeholders, educators, and the Legislature with further review by the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council. The State Superintendent then determines adoption of the standards.
Here are links to resources describing the process. Check back on this site for standards work updates.

Wisconsin Standards for Art and Design Draft Survey

Individuals, groups, and agencies were invited to submit written comments or information regarding the Wisconsin Standards for Art and Design draft through an online survey or email to The Wisconsin Standards for Art and Design draft can be found at
A public hearing regarding the Wisconsin Standards for Art and Design draft was held July 29, 2019. Comments were received and reviewed by the writing committee, the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council (SSSRC) and the Department of Public Instruction. The news release is available online at:
For further information about art and design education in Wisconsin, please follow the links:
For questions about this information, contact Julie Palkowski