DS paint programme Art Academy has been out for a good while now, starting off on DSiWare as Art Academy: First Semester and Art Academy: Second Semester, and now Nintendo is bringing the cartridge compilation to select schools across North America to help students express their creative side.

In conjunction with the National Art Education Association, art teachers in some schools have received DSi XL consoles and copies of Art Academy for their pupils to use in class.

While this is a laudable scheme, we can't help but wonder why the consoles weren't equipped with the DSiWare Art Academy games, as they would allow pupils to export their creations to SD card for easier back-up and portfolio work.

Don't forget you can read our Art Academy review for our impression of this artistic endeavour.

Nintendo’s Art Academy Fuels Creativity in Classrooms from Coast to Coast

Nintendo of America is teaming with visual arts educators across the United States to give students a fresh, fun way to study drawing and painting techniques. As part of a unique relationship between Nintendo and the National Art Education Association (NAEA), art teachers in elementary, middle and high school classrooms have been provided with hand-held Nintendo DSi XL™ systems and copies of Art Academy™, a software title that offers interactive art tutorials for budding artists of any background or skill level. Last month, the hardware and software were distributed to select teachers who are participating in the program, inviting them to discover interesting ways to incorporate Art Academy into creative classroom activities.

Created exclusively for the Nintendo DS™ family of systems, Art Academy lets students enjoy lessons on subjects such as color, shading and perspective. Using the Nintendo DS stylus just like a paintbrush or pencil, they can practice and develop skills that transfer easily to real-world art materials. In addition to guided tutorials, students can let their own creativity run wild in Free Paint mode, which lets them draw or paint whatever comes to mind.

“The abundance of visual images being displayed through technology is transforming the ways art education in schools can be presented to students,” said Deborah B. Reeve, EdD, NAEA Executive Director. “In today’s schools, an emphasis is still placed on rational and analytic subjects like math and science. Art class is one of the few places where kids can exercise their creativity and develop flexible forms of thinking to build additional skills for their future. We are thrilled that the incorporation of Nintendo’s Art Academy into the classroom provides students with another creative outlet that supports teaching and learning in art, and the students agree.”

In a recent study conducted by Wakefield Research for Nintendo, nearly 60 percent of surveyed parents agreed that there is not enough focus on art activities in their children’s schools. Both inside and outside the classroom, Art Academy can provide kids with a regular creative outlet, providing portable art lessons that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere at each student’s own pace.

More information about Art Academy – including examples of artwork that have been created with the software – can be found at http://artacademy.nintendo.com. Information about the National Art Education Association can be found at http://www.arteducators.org.