The self portrait has long been used as a means of personal expression by artists. Before beginning their own portraits, students spent time exploring self portraits by other artists from around the world. They took inspiration from these artists' uses of pose, expression, setting, color scheme, and symbolism, and used this inspiration to consider how to best represent their own essential qualities. These portraits were created using oil pastel.
Abstraction is the process of taking away or removing characteristics from something in order to reduce it to a set of essential characteristics. Each student depicted the same subject matter with three styles - realism, abstraction, and abstract.
Functional Objects as Painting Surfaces
Artists throughout time have created works of art on functional objects in order to elevate the objects for ceremonial, symbolic, aesthetic, or sacred purposes. For this project, each student painted a pair of shoes, and while considering "Where have you been? Where are you going?"
Surrealist Juxtaposition Sculpture
The surrealist artists explored dreams and the subconscious to create art that was full of humor and visual surprises. Guided by this approach, students created ceramic sculptures that paired unusual subjects or concepts.
Digital Photo Collage - "A Day In My Life"
To end Year 1, we created a digital collage entitled "A Day In My Life". Students first learned how shutter speed, aperture, and light sensitivity affect photographs. Then, they spent some time collecting images that illustrated the experiences of their daily lives. Finally, they studied photo editing techniques in Photoshop, and assembled their photo collages.
This multimedia collage began with each student revisiting their theme for the course. Inspired by collage artists who embrace spontaneity, such as Romare Bearden, students wrote a found-word poem based on their theme, and then produced a multi-media collage in response to the poem. Many students used non-traditional materials and many integrated their poems into their artwork.