Every year, students in Pre-K explore their identities as a part of an annual project called “A Portrait of the Artist,” designed by K1 Teacher, Taheera Massey. Students create a series of self-portraits while examining artwork from a variety of cultures and artists throughout art history. The collages pictured here were inspired by the work of artist Kehinde Wiley, who painted President Barack Obama’s official portrait.
Instead of attempting to create photorealistic paintings in reference to Wiley’s re-appropriation of the Western Canon, students struck a pose to evoke their own identities. After teachers printed the digital photos, students carefully cut out their profiles and selected rich backgrounds to express themselves with color and pattern. Finally, to honor Wiley’s inspiration and the students’ artistry, teachers positioned students’ self-portraits alongside works by the master for everyone to see.