Most of us know that art is important for children. But beyond why it is important for them to create art it is just vital to expose children to famous artists. Art connects us all. It can take us through history, introduce us to other cultures, the world around us, and to ourselves. Therefore the more a child is exposed to the arts, the more techniques they are aware of, the more they can problem solve to think critically, the more they can creatively express themselves, the more accepting they are, and the more beauty they can see in the world around them. Art is one of the fundamental components of what makes us ALL uniquely human.
Kehinde Wiley is the African-American painter who is best known for portraits that feature African Americans in the traditional settings of old paintings with naturalistic brightly colored flowery backgrounds. After talking about his art and looking at what he has created, we invited the children to do a favorite around here and create colorful frames with loose parts (gem cubes, mandala wooden parts, rainbow pebbles, wooden rings) to adorn the paintings with open ended materials.
As they created the frames, more discussion opened up in detail about the paintings, the children created patterns, compared the different materials they were using, counted and sorted the loose parts, collaborated together to create masterpieces, all while learning about another amazing #blackhistory month artist!
Here is a previous rendition with other loose parts to create frames for Kehinde Wiley.