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[teacherartexchange] African Art Unit - contemporary art twist


From: Deborah Kaye (kaye.deborah_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Aug 01 2005 - 07:46:57 PDT

Greetings Tracey and all,

Tracey - you always get my wheels turning (grin). What about taking a
contemporary art approach - that ties in mask making and body
adornment? Could also reflect textile patterns.

I really like the arm and face installation pieces by African American
artist Ben Jones. The face and arm casts are painted with cultural
patterns - in bright colors (and show influence of African Art).

I can see how you could do this idea with middle school kids to create
a temporary installation piece. Students would paint their face and
arm cast with symbols and patterns that represent their cultural
heritage - and use some of the characteristics of West African Art as
well (geometric pattern, repetition, concentric shapes, exaggeration -
etc). The painting can also reflect knowledge of Ndebele mural
painting. I have ideas on this, too. This project would take at least
three weeks to complete (as students need the introduction to

If anyone is interested in hearing more about this project idea and
wants images of Ben Jones work, email me off list. I also have an idea
how to add Kathy's idea of "What I feel on the inside" and "who I am
on the outside"

Michael Gerrish has an arm cast - tattoo lesson online you can easily
adapt to fit the Ben Jones idea (his lesson is easy to find).


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