Fifth grade students at Vance Elementary have been studying artists Kehinde Wiley and Shepard Fairey. Each student was instructed to select a piece that inspired them and recreate their own original version.
A Digital Study of Kehinde Wiley
Wiley creates contemporary portraits inspired by the poses in traditional Baroque paintings. The students were presented with several different images from Baroque paintings featuring various poses. Each student was instructed to select a pose from a Baroque painting to imitate for their own portrait. Peers collaborated to direct each other to make the poses faithful to the original. The portraits were then photographed in front of a green screen in the Vance Makerspace with the assistance of the Vance digital lead teacher, Mrs. Burns. Wiley’s paintings have very detailed repeating background patterns. Fifth graders used their computers to create a unique overlapping pattern inspired by Wiley as the background for their photo pose.
We the People: A Digital Study of Shepard Fairey
Fifth graders were asked to research a social issue that was important to them; either a school issue, a city-wide Asheville issue, a state, national, or global issue. Their assignment was to find a photograph or create a photograph concisely illustrating their chosen social issue. Students then used a digital manipulation site to change the image to the colors of the American flag, as Shepard Fairey has done. This assignment sparked a lot of enthusiasm among students as they strove to create their own version of a “We the People” series.
The Refinery Creator Space is located at 207 Coxe Ave. in Asheville. For more information, please call (828) 258-0710 or visit www.ashevillearts.com