Last month, as many people know, was Black History Month. In honor of that I created a Jacob Lawrence Project (link to original post) for my students and y’all, it was a success!
Not only did my student really enjoy the project, they also took the subject matter seriously and asked questions. I am supper proud and excited for how they’ll take the rest of my projects for the remaining school year.
The objective of the lesson was for the class to use pictures from the Civil Rights movement and paint them in in the style of Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. The only catch was that they had to include colored paper somewhere in their project, making it a sort of collage. The results of this project have made me so proud! Here are some pictures of some of the pieces compared to the original.
This project was very opened ended and I was amazed by how each student decided to approach there task. It was also interesting to see how some of them started. Most painted parts of the picture first (we used tempera paint and acrylic so it dried fast) and then added the paper. There was a handful of kids that did the complete opposite. I also think that the minimalist aspect of this project really gave them more range to work with. Its always interesting to see what you will get when you tell children to just go for it.
So, I am about to maybe start on a new project. If all goes well, this new project could turn into my new independent study for next semester. Now prep for this project is gonna take me a while. I’m going to have to do research, interviews, sketches, measuring, more sketching and so many other things. Depending on how things go I might post some of the pre stuff here (even if not many people read this).
Wish me luck that everything goes well, and it’s time to start a new chapter of my art life.
I hate driving. Every time I get behind the wheel, I don’t know if I will make it home. Every time a new video about police brutality released, I cry and have to work up the courage to drive so I can complete any errands I have.
The purpose of this painting is to make an impersonal piece of personal information personal again. Think about it, when you look at someone’s license if doesn’t really tell you who they are as a person. It doesn’t tell you their interests, their relationships, or their hobbies. A license, or most IDs, give other people a free pass to make assumptions about who you are as a person. For me personally, this can lead to racial profiling that can have life or death consequences.
Since making this painting, it’s actually sparked a lot of conversations with people on campus. I attend what some might considered to be a conservative school. I mean, they try to be accepting and such, but this is Texas. There is only oh so much the school can do. Anyway, the general response has been positive. People on campus seem to like my reasoning for making this painting. I’ve decided to make this a series and do the licenses of different people. I plan on asking one of my best friends and my boyfriend’s mother. If I can do this right, then I can help other minorities like myself show people that we’re really not that different from them.
In the past, I was known for not speaking about politics. I just felt like I should keep my head down and not say anything. Hell, even writing this post is making me a little bit nervous. But then I got older and I started to see and read things, and that made me think. But the thing that made me realize that I really need to start talking to people about were I stand on things was the shooting in Dallas that happened this past summer.
I did not attend the march and was home when it happened, but my best friend A, did not know that. She was staying in a place that had a bad connection and didn’t here about the shooting till late that night and called me, but I asleep and didn’t hear my phone. A left me crying voicemails, begging that I call her as soon as possible because she needed to know if I was okay and was praying that I wasn’t shot or killed. When I got a hold of her, reassuring that I was fine, she did something I wasn’t expecting. She made me promise that when she got back, we would have a discussion on race. Being a white female, A admitted tat she didn’t know that much behind everything and what she was allowed to talk about. You can bet we had that talk and it made me realize something too.
You have to talk about things for change to happen. Staying silent and letting others handle it does not mean things will get fixed, to get change you have to make change. And so, I found the idea for my painting final last semester. When I told my painting professor/mentor about this idea he gladly said, “Lets do it.” Now, It’s not like I thought Prof. AB would say no, but still I was a little nervous about starting these pieces. While Moudy is a pretty liberal place, I didn’t know how people would feel about these. Luckily, everyone really loved them (for now I’m not going to do to much explaining about these pieces until a later post, but rest assure I’ll explain them soon).
I think that I’m going to paint more things like this in the future. I’ve found that I bests express myself with my paintings. I can make it say what I can’t say with words and show others a different side of me. Now I’m talking, to my family and to others. I’m trying to get my friends engaged in the conversation as well, and I understand that talking about these things make people feel uncomfortable. But we have to talk about it.There are problems in this world that we need to fix and talking about how to fix it is the first step. I want my friends to realize that they have a voice. If I can talk about this, then I know they can and so can you.
Saturday I attend one of the many Women’s Marches that were held around the world. Literally, every single continent held a protest and I am happy to say that I was apart of history. To some, including the Cheeto, this march seemed pointless and they don’t understand why we’re even trying. Things are going to get a lot tougher in the near future. So while some people might not understand, I’m going to fight back. I have my friends and family behind me. We are not going anywhere and we are not backing down.
As many people know, today a certain person, who shall not be named on the blog ever, is starting his new 4 year temporary job. I do not support this man or any of the beliefs of his followers.
I understand that to some this post will seem like I am whining and I need to just get over what has happened and everything will be okay. To those people, I say you can not tell me that things are going to be okay. You don’t know that. You have not been through what my people have been through. You are not seen as a threat to some people just because of the color of your skin. You are not constantly going over what you’ve said and done to make sure you didn’t perpetuate a stereotype. You are not scared to death that being around the police or asking them for help could mean your death.
The day after the election I was distraught. I put in my headphones and listened to my music, trying to block out the world. But then I went on Facebook and saw something I had to respond to:
I am scared. I’m scared for my self, for my family, for my students, for my friends, for my boyfriend, for people I have never and may never meet in my life. I’m scared of the America that I am about to face for the next four years. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to take any of this lying down.
Starting today, I’m going to fight even more for what I believe in. I’m going to make my voice heard and I will not tolerate anything from anyone. My ancestors fought so that I can be where I am today, now it’s my turn to fight for my descendants so they can have an even better life than me.