Explosion of Creativity: Lower School Students Display Their Masterpieces In Celebration of Black History Month!

It’s an explosion of creativity on the Boulevard, featuring art from our youngest students. Led by art teacher Ms. Keener, our Kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders explored a variety of African American artists to celebrate Black History Month.

 Kindergarteners looked at the quilts made by the artists of Gee's Bend, Alabama.  These are isolated parts off the Alabama River where many of the community residents' roots can be traced back to a specific plantation of slaves. Traditionally, many of the women made quilts to keep their families warm since there was no electricity, but now they're well known for their geometric, free stitch designs.  Their quilts sell for up to $10,000 now! There's a great. Kindergarten looked at many of their quilt designs and created a paper quilt square inspired by the Gee's Bend quilts. Want to know more about these quilters? Check out this New York Times Op Ed documentary. 

Meanwhile, Speyer first graders looked at the abstract art of Washington, D.C. artist Alma Thomas. She began her artistic career at Howard University, where she learned about Color Field Painting, which inspired her work. Much of Alma Thomas’s paintings are references to nature and her brushstrokes have been compared to Byzantine mosaics as well as pointillism. Aside from being an artist, Alma was also a junior high school educator for many decades. Our first grade artists were challenged to create a watercolor painting using short brushstrokes in their composition. Some chose to create colorful rows, while other students chose a radial design or even a landscape.

Our second grade artists examined the work of Faith Ringgold She is a painter, writer, mixed media sculptor and performance artist, best known for her narrative quilts. They read her book Tar Beach, which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. Inspired by the girl in the book, they drew self-portraits of themselves flying over something they would want to make theirs or own!