Charles R. Drew Charter School Visual Art Classes

Embracing Differences at Drew

Ms. Bonadonna’s students approached this project in two ways.  One 2nd grade class studied Jonahs Lie’s painting, Paths of Gold, and focused on which types of transportation people may take to get to a new country.

The class discussed who they would make this journey with and what it would look like when they arrived.   Children spent time imagining actual immigrant’s feelings and varied impressions of their new land.

As varied as the nationalities of the many immigrants who have made their way to our country, are their dreams. With that fact as a launching point, the other 2nd grade class studied self-taught artist, Nellie Mae Rowe’s painting, When I Lie Down, and painted pictures that portrayed a dream that the students have for their own future.  Students were inspired by the fact that Rowe was an Atlanta native. The students enjoyed sharing their dreams with one another and the whole class recognized that despite our differences, we often share similar dreams for our futures.

Ms. Anderson’s 4th grade class studied the silhouettes of Kara Walker (that were appropriate for this age).  Students looked up ten adjectives in the dictionary to describe their personalities.  Art students chose two colors that looked good together.  Ms. Anderson outlined their silhouette on the lighter paper using artificial light (lcd projector) and a pencil.

Students then cut out their own profile and used the positive and negative space to create a likeness of their selves on the front and back of their art.  They made a hole in the top of the piece and braided yarn that compliments their work.  In the negative space the artist’s wrote their words and turned them into shapes.  As students began to finish we talked about the pieces as a class and how each person is different even if they have a few things in common. The art is meant to be interactive, allowing the viewer to flip from one view of a silhouette to another.


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