Cultural Identities

Students explored their cultural identities by making a piece that represented their culture(s) through the passage of time within their family or community (in any combination from past, present and future). Before we started working with the art, the class defined a community whether it be comprised of family members, school environment or other people coming together. Student’s wrote a visual statement explaining what they wanted to say about their culture and their communities? How has things evolved with time? The elements of art were then introduced and students explored ways of bringing in items that could support their written statement to convey their ideas visually in this cultural collage. When closely examined, you can find that much thought went into the choice of objects and their placement, the shapes they created. For example, some students painted their pieces by making a colorful paste with ethnic spices and rice, or a heart cut from sandpaper represents a difficult relationship. Another student placed money in their collage hoping it will be plentiful in the future and contrasted another part due to an absence in the past. Items stored from their childhood were brought into class and discussed through the process. The use of visual symbols and color theory were also examined. 

To use Differentiated Instruction, students were given the opportunity to make a two dimensional or three dimensional work of art. If students had trouble beginning a piece, a suggestion was made to use a silhouette of their faces or a visual symbol that can impact their written statement. Others went on to create a work as they envisioned. For example, in the three dimensional cube below the artist put objects from her past on one side, and future on the other; in the center there is a hole which only allows select object to pass into the future. The objects in the future were unknown and concrete, so the artist used words to create them. Another piece shows a clock which allows time to be switched and changed. These pieces were displayed at BHSEC Queens’s Arts Night.