Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Art +Technology: A Picture Person Project

In another life I was an art teacher. For 13 years, in fact! I've never lost my love for art, so when my son started kindergarten and the PTA was looking for a parent to act as the "Art Mom" (called "Picture Person" in my son's district), I jumped at the chance.

The program in my son's district is through the Picturing America program, which, I gotta tell ya, made me a little disappointed at first. I wanted full freedom to choose my own artists and activities! But it really makes sense - by using this program, we ensure that grade levels and volunteers don't overlap or repeat.

For one of my visits, I chose the painting George Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze. I adapted one of my favorite former 6th grade art projects to fit the kindergarten level. I took photos of the students wearing a cape, tri-corner hat, and holding a play sword, and superimposed them into the painting!

If you do some Googley-searching you can find links back to my old art blog, including this entry that talks a little about our Kehinde Wiley project. (Ugh thanks to Photobucket - that's sarcastic, by the way - most of my old blog images are now broken links.) Kehinde Wiley poses his models in classical poses after Baroque-style portraiture. We used this as inspiration when posing for our George Washington photos.

While the photos were being taken, students worked at their tables. They used colored pencil to add patterned backgrounds to a black and white photocopy of the original painting, to mimic the highly ornate backgrounds in a Wiley painting:

image via
At home, I worked to layer the original painting with the student photos we had just taken. I did a presentation at a PTA workshop for the other volunteers that details the whole process below:

This "picture person" project was really fun because it allowed me to combine my love of art and technology into one fun project. I sent color printouts of the final images home, along with a quick note explaining what we did in class. I got a lot of positive feedback from the parents and the students seemed to really enjoy dressing up and being a part of the artwork!

- Mrs L.