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Cultural Self-Portraits

Mrs. Soto's Art III class composing cultural self-portraits

Mrs. Soto’s Art III students conducted a research project on diversity. They were given an assignment that would express cultural diversity as well as Self Portraiture. The project required researching different cultures and tribes to grasp an appropriate understanding of their unique style. The objective given to the students was to draw a Self-Portrait and incorporate the culture of their choice into the clothing, facial features, artwork (such as tattoos) and expression. Each student individually researched and chose their own culture, whether it be of personal interest or just a unique style.

This project was far from easy. Not only did the students have to accurately draw themselves, but they were challenged by twisting their chosen theme into their person. The clothing and head dresses as well at the tattoos, jewelry and back grounds were visual representations of the different cultures chosen. The pieces were composed with graphite (pencil) using strictly grayscale and pencil values. The pieces were done on 16x20 inch drawing paper. The students used shading, by cross-hatching, hatching and other shading techniques. The different shades and highlights in the pieces are used to bring more life, complexity, and realism to the artwork. This project allowed the students to explore and learn about other cultures and traditions. This was a great way for them to explore globalization and to gain respect for other people from around the world. There were many different choices of cultures which ranged from Eastern Indian to Western Indian, Polish to Ancient Persian. Alyssa Holland who chose Japanese culture said “Being aware of cultural differences leads to understanding and a general appreciation for others.”

The artwork is displayed in the main corridor and down through the hallway. As you pass the artwork in the next few weeks just remember that our culture is not the only one out there. Thank you WHS art students for promoting awareness to respect all differences and appreciate the cultures and traditions of everyone.

View Video of Self-Portraits

Written by: Hannah King, Art Student
Posted: May 19, 2011 by Cheryl Edwards

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