On a recent trip to the National Portrait Gallery, Sixth Grade heard stories of people who have spoken up and acted for social justice and examined the deliberate choices the artists made to communicate the essence of those individuals.
They analyzed portraits of various figures who have made an impact from the 19th century to today. Subjects included abolitionist John Brown, founder of Special Olympics Eunice Kennedy Shriver, civil rights activists and co-founders of the National Farm Workers Association César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, artist Roger Shimomura, singer-songwriter Katy Perry, and Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
Students gained a better understanding of the nuanced ways artists use setting, light, style, objects, frame, expression to convey a message about their subjects.
This launched the Art portion of the interdisciplinary Living Museum project, in which students write a research paper, write and perform a monologue, and create a portrait of a figure who has influenced history.
The Living Museum performance will take place on February 15.