K1 Launches ‘Portrait of an Artist’ Expedition With Visit to MFA gallery


When the K1 artists visited the Museum of Fine Art on Tuesday, it was more than a stroll through the gallery; they were on a mission. The young artists, who have just launched their Portrait of an Artist Expedition, were studying the medium of the painted portrait, exploring the ways an artist chooses what they want their audience to see.  

Students examined several portraits from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Picturing America Curriculum, including a self portrait by Ellen Hale and Chuck Close’s “Paul IV”. They compared facial expressions, background, color, and brush strokes in portraits from many styles and eras, exploring the way these factors work together to create mood. Among their favorite paintings was “The Bone Player” by William Sydney Mount, whose depiction of music made an instant connection with many of the children.

Following the tour, the young artists used the resources in the museum pencil and mirrorstudio to experiment with perspective in creating self portraits. Students used mirrors to measure the relationships among their own facial features, then made sketches. Eventually, the students will create their own self portraits in the medium of acrylic paint on canvas.