High Tech Middle’s art class celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by researching the lives and work of several Hispanic Artists. Students worked in groups of four to create biographical presentations on their chosen artist and individually created self-portraits inspired by the work of their artist. The artists represented a range of countries and artistic styles: Columbian artist Fernando Botero; Mexican artists, Rodolfo Morales, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera; Chilean artist, Roberto Matta; Spanish artists, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Salvador Dali; and Puerto Rican artists, Francisco Oller, and Jose F. Rios. Students presented their biographies and paintings to the class on October 15 to commemorate the final day of Hispanic Heritage month.
I have been doing this project in my art class for three years. It is one of my favorite projects because there are a variety of components—research, a self-portrait, and an oral presentation —and all students have the opportunity to succeed. I enjoy watching the students researching the lives and artwork of their chosen artist. I love to see the expressions on their faces when they see their first Salvador Dali painting or when they first read the biography of Frida Kahlo. They get so excited to share this new information with any one that will listen. I am also amazed every year at the quality of their self-portraits. They really get to know the style of their artist and do a wonderful job of making successful portraits inspired by their work. The real satisfaction comes at the end of the project. Students present their biographies, portraits, and artist statements with confidence and pride. I am currently looking for a gallery to show the final portraits and artist statements from this semester. I find myself more and more impressed by this project each year.
Artwork on the cover and corresponding Hispanic artist, clockwise from the top, provided by: Sianni Rosenstock & Quinn Butterfield (Rodolfo Morales), Anastasia Ovanessoff (Frida Kahlo), Luis Morales (Rodolfo Morales), & Lexus Jackson (Diego Rivera).