Friday, February 27, 2009

Global Art

The 12th graders have  class in which they both assemble a portfolio for college admission (if they need to do that) and do an oil painting  or long term drawing project. This year as a focus we participated in The Memory Project, follow the link to learn more, or be satisfied with knowing it connects orphans in third world countries with US students through the common language of art. Apparently receiving the portraits is a very powerful experience for these children, some of whom have never seen a photo of themselves, it is a sort of right of passage into adulthood. Or at least that is the way it is presented. On our end it, in some small way, makes a real connection with people in a different culture, resulting, perhaps,  in a change in consciousness regarding life on spinning ball of matter we call earth. We worked from photos of the kids, who in all but one case, were from Myanmar (AKA Burma). With instructions to be realistic with the faces, creative with the background and that it was OK to change hairstyles in the case of girls, the 12th graders intrepidly set forth. Lessons learned were that art takes a lot longer than you think and if you talk a lot you won't get a lot done. I attempted to give kind but accurate feed back with emphasis on keeping the faces recognizable........I think they did a pretty good job and I hope their art brings some joy.
Top left : last student done, very busy with portfolio to several different colleges already accepted to the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Top right: this student had been wanting to do oils for years and is now doing an oil painting project for SR. Project Presentation, Valedictorian of class, one of our Chinese students. Lower left: another first timer for oils, although slightly less sophisticated than the other pictures it has a charm and humor which is so like the artist himself, one of our Chinese students. Lower right: Afraid I did this one, the student did not come through with a passable picture (despite my best attempts to intervene), I did this in little than a day, it is water color and colored pencil, we will pretend that a student did it.

Left: so much detail in this one, student lavished attention on the picture, I think the love comes through. Middle: actually from a 10th grader on her own making up for a missed service learning trip, I wished she had been able to spend more time at school with me, but she was just too busy! Right: A new student to the 12th grade did this, she said she hadn't done any art since 4th grade, what are they teaching in schools these days?

Next time: More training with the Spots!!!!!!!!!

9 comments:

PJ said...

Beautifully done, Diana. The majority, and I emphatically emphasize "the majority", of people on this planet do not have access to the visual experiences that even the poorest of Americans can access through the magic of electronic wizardry. This is a great project and your work is exceptional.

mum of critters said...

I love the concept and all of these pieces are amazing. I confess the bottom right of the top 4 i thought looked like a photo and was amazed at the students' talent and had to chuckle to read and find it was you! Top left in that group jumped right out at me, not surprised that student is already headed to art school. I love them all for their different presentation and essence. Thanks for sharing them

mum of critters said...

oh and pj keeps bugging me to do some of the training with my Fidget that you're doing... her last post was funny ... she suggested that i do the training then said well maybe it's just cuz she loves pics of cute bunny feet. i don't know if i have your patience for the training

Rabbits' Guy said...

A lot of time and creativity in those ... Do the students ever get any response from the orphans?

furrybutts said...

Top left and bottom right caught my eye.. between the two, I thought bottom right was most realistic and reading on, it was painted by you! Great art work, as usual! This sounds like a wonderful project.. the orphans must be so happy to receive such lovely art :)

Annie B said...

What a great project. Once again I find myself wishing that I had had someone like you as an art teacher when I was in h.s. I had the same experience as others above - really noticed the bottom right picture and then laughed out loud to read that you had done it!

M.Kate said...

Beautiful paintings by talented people. Have a great week, looking forward to see how the training goes with the spots :D

Fez and the Gang said...

You must be a wonderful teacher. They all look great, and what a beautiful idea to give something so small back, that means so much.

ilex said...

What they are teaching in school these days... they are teaching to the tests, nothing more. My husband teaches college freshmen part-time, and he laments their utter lack of curiosity, their inability to think critically. Thanks, W! But your student art is lovely, nonetheless.