The topic began with an insight into the famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Inspired by Mexican popular culture, she employed a folk art style to explore questions of identity, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.
“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.” – Frida Kahlo
Books on Frida Kahlo were shared with the students, explaining the story of this artist in an age-appropriate way and highlighting her bravery, courage and persistence to keep pursuing what she loved, even during unfortunate times of ill health.
“Painting completed my life.” – Frida Kahlo
Students engaged in discussions and shared ideas, building their understanding of multiple forms of art, such as painting and sculpture, and that all artists are unique.
Discussions took place on the methods artists use and their persistence in creating art, even when they feel their work doesn’t turn out exactly how they may have planned. The students began to understand that an important part of the artistic process is to try every time and learn from the challenges.
To build on their understanding of art, students illustrated their own self-portraits using line, watercolour and collage.
Furthering the students’ curiosity about artists and learning about different artistic movements, they were encouraged to explore the artist Pablo Picasso and his original style, by creating artworks from multiple perspectives all in one picture.
Through story, illustrations and wordplay, students learned how Picasso followed his heart and created the art that he wanted to, despite others’ opinions.
“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso
Discussions included how artworks convey messages and stories.
To encourage the children to explore the perspective of communication through art, art tables were set up for the students, including a Picasso table, where the children had an opportunity to glue and draw their own Picasso style artwork using oil pastels and collage.
The unrestricted exploration of art helps children form connections in their brain while learning and applying new skills in a fun environment.