SchoolArts Magazine

February 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Jada Millen, Flora Emerging, grade six. 26 FEBRUARY 2017 SchoolArts I was first inspired to create a lesson on Romare Bearden after viewing his work exhibited with the Jacob Lawrence Series at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson in 2008. The imaginative freedom with which Bearden used rich texture from clip- pings to recreate people and places from his past was the inspiration for this self-portrait lesson. Introducing Bearden After teaching my sixth-grade students how to draw their faces proportion - ately while looking in a mirror, I intro- duced Bearden through a slideshow of his collages. We discussed Bearden's history, the content of his work, and what we could learn from the way he communicated through his art. We also discussed the Harlem Renaissance and how this arts explo - sion ushered in a whole new era, mak- ing way for artists such as Bearden, Faith Ringgold, Sam Gilliam, Aminah Robinson, and other artists of the African diaspora to make their own art jazz heard around the world. Lines and Lists With a newfound understanding and appreciation of Bearden's collage work, students redrew their self- portraits vertically on large sheets of drawing paper. I instructed them to keep this as a basic line drawing only, with no shading. As students entered the artroom the next day, I asked them to make a list in their sketchbooks of at least ten words that describe who they are. This included their family, community, interests, skills, and their dreams. Image Hunt Using their descriptive lists as a guide, students began the process of Melody Weintraub & ROMARE BEARDEN Me M I D D L E S C H O O L

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