A place to see what is happening in Fine Arts at Rocky Mountain School for the Gifted and Creative

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A New President

The whole school gathered in our community room last week to witness the inauguration of President Barak Obama. Together we stood up, sat down, applauded, cried and cheered. Later that day, in the art studio, I showed some artwork created by artists from around the world; portraits of Barak Obama. I was gratified to point out that with the exception of bronze, students in our art studio have available to them all the media used by the artists in the slides I presented, even, surprisingly, dryer lint. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/16/obama.art.irpt/index.html)
After viewing the slides, “E” (age 10) was inspired to draw president Obama’s portrait. This is her first attempt, drawn from memory.

An observant classmate (“G”) noticed the New York Times Magazine I brought in and displayed, titled Obama’s People. I watched as she quietly brought the magazine, which she opened to a portrait of Obama, and placed it in view of her classmate. “E” then had a reference to work from and proceeded to make two more versions of the portrait, now working with more information.

I often point out to students that artists sometimes work from imagination, sometimes from memory, sometimes from observation, and sometimes from exploration and experimentation. Providing insight and the right tools is not just the role of the teacher however, as was demonstrated in our studio when one student (“G”, mentioned above) supported another with care and respect.

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