Honoring Black History: Lower School Art & Music

Honoring Black History: Lower School Art & Music
Jacob E.A., Music Specialist, & Marie-Helene Bauguil, Art Specialist

In honor of Black History Month, Jacob and Marie-Helene have coordinated our Art and Music curriculum. IL1, IL2, and IL3 Art students have been learning about African-American artists as well as the music and culture that inspired them. 

IL1 and IL2 will be learning about painter and collagist Romare Bearden along with jazz music. Students will create paper collages that tell their personal stories and/or interests.

Romare Bearden (1911-1988) is considered one of the most important artists of the Twentieth Century. His art depicts African-American culture and experiences of the South, where he was born, and the North where he grew up (particularly the cities of Harlem/New York City, and Pittsburgh). Bearden’s most known works are collages, for which he combined images from newspapers and magazines, colored papers, photographs, fabric, and paper scraps from previous works.

Here are two examples of Bearden’s work:


In IL3, Art students will be introduced to contemporary portraitist Kehinde Wiley (1977- ) and create their self-portrait in the artist style. They will learn about hip hop music with Jacob.

Artist Kehinde Wiley is known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African Americans posing as famous figures from the history of Western art. Wiley’s sitters are ordinary people he hires off the street in New York City, where he lives. He brings them in his studio, poses them in the style of renaissance paintings and sculpture, and gives the paintings a contemporary look and feel. His paintings are often 20 to 30 feet long, with colorful, detailed, and textured backgrounds. In 2017, Wiley was commissioned to paint the official presidential portrait of Barack Obama.

Here is one example of Wiley's work:

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