Micheal Jakson’s lyrics ring true for this Embracing Differences project. The words have served as my students’ inspiration.
“If you wanna make the world a better place,
take a look at yourself and make that change.”
During class, students have looked at artists like Chuck Close and Frida Kahlo’s use of self portrait to express themseleves. They have been surprised and at the same time encouraged to learn that both artists did not let debilatating physical challenge limit them. Students have been amazed to see through video links how Close has overcome and worked through his handicaps. We have had rich conversations about the perceptions we cast upon one another based on physical appearances.
Students have been encouraged to look closely into their own mirrors and think about the changes they wish to see in the world. I believe what they see in the glass is their own potential. Like the artists they have studied, they do not have to let the limitations the world or circumstances place on them impede their pursuits. We look forward to joining other schools as we create an exhibit that will encourage the city to embrace our differences and together build a stronger community.