Lucky for me, my two weeks abroad were jam-packed with contemporary art and meeting with practicing art educators, and i came home with a journal full of ideas and inspiration for future lessons. Also fortunate, our gallery has been in a lengthy strike/restore/install that has given me an opportunity to put these ideas in to action and test them out in our monthly kids program, Art Exploration.
This past month, I was able to show some students the work of Ebony Patterson, one of the many artists I studied in classes at the Edna Manley college and saw on view at the National Gallery. Specifically we looked at examples of her college and mixed media work that dealt with portraiture and the examination of the dancehall (a popular Jamaican music genre) culture within the influence of the nation's identity.
For the project, we took each art explorer's photograph and printed them in black and white. They then were given access to a wide range of collage materials and printed papers to go wild with! They were encouraged to keep in mind the kinds of shapes, patterns and designs that Ebony Patterson used to accentuate the portrait and highlight aspects of identity.
The students made some lovely work, and I even made my own self portrait!