SchoolArts Magazine

March 2018

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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printer, students created a digital negative of their selected image to be printed as a cyanotype. We discussed how Frank was inter- ested in creating a strong body of work in which his interpretation of America wouldn't be summed up in a single image—but rather through all of his images as a collective. To mirror Frank's interest in images as a collec - tive, students and I decided to hang their completed rectangular cyano - types on a wall to form a square grid. Kincaid-Inspired Quilt It is important for students to become engaged with a visiting artist prior to that artist's arrival. I achieve this by having them create work inspired by a technique or concept similar to the work of the visiting artist. During the time I introduced this cyanotype assignment to students, our visual arts department hosted artist Basil Kin - caid, who creates beautiful quilts that address ideas about community, race, and identity. These were concepts also touched upon in Robert Frank's work. Taking inspiration from Kincaid's quilts, we next broke up the square grid and rehung the rectangular cyanotypes in a more haphazard fashion with no space between the framed cyanotypes. The different cyan values in the cyanotypes also hinted at the various colors of fabric used in Kincaid's work. Remix #2: Other People's Clothes Basil Kincaid's use of quilts and cloth- ing as tools of concealment further inspired a studio portrait remix lesson where students concealed the iden- tity of their sitter with various articles of clothing for black-and-white pho- tography. Kincaid uses clothing to convey cultural perspectives and tell a story of the self and place. Using a black studio seamless back- ground and one strobe with a square light box, students each made a por - trait of a person where the individual dress codes tell a story of the subject. Students were directed to morph and erase the sitter's identity underneath an array of draped clothing: • Article of clothing belonging to one of your grandparents • Article of clothing you wore as a child • Article of clothing with a pop culture reference • Article of clothing representing a specific culture • Article of clothing belonging to a different gender • A variety of t-shirts, button-down shirts, pants, slacks, sweatpants, scarves, dresses, and skirts • An array of belts, hats, gloves, or even flags Remixed Results I asked students to use split lighting for the portraits, where the light is to the side and fairly level to the subject's face, which causes one side to be lit up and the other side to be in shadow. For this, they only needed one strobe with I create slightl different versions of past lessons b adding new concepts that I hope will inspire m students. a square lightbox and side reflector. In addition, I asked students to direct their models as if they were posing for a studio portrait or fash - ion shoot, and to shoot four pho- tographs: head and shoulders, full body standing or sitting on a stool, one extreme angle lying down, and one from the waist up. The results for both the cyanotype quilt and Kincaid-inspired portraits were amazing and showed the value of continually remixing and extending previous lessons. Joe Medina teaches photography at Har- vard Westlake School in Los Angeles, Cali- fornia. N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K S watch?v=y00DU5OOqaQ. ert-frank-the-americans Kincaid-inspired cyanotype quilt. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 43

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