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Black History Geometric Portraits

School: Launch Expeditionary Learning School

City/State: Brooklyn, NY

Grade(s): 7

Format(s): Visual & Narrative Arts

Subject(s): Mathematics, Social Studies, Visual Arts

Project Overview: 

Knowing the past opens doors to our future. Students created geometric portraits based on a hero of African descent. After researching their hero, students picked a quote from their hero and used that as a base to create a silhouette for their geometric and monochrome portrait. They used Adobe Photoshop, to create this art using only an apple trackpad. Note that it is very difficult to create art using a trackpad and/or mouse instead of a drawing table.  

Portraits were displayed at the annual Black History celebration at The Weeksville Heritage Center. This celebration is open to the community. Students wrote artist statements about each piece as well as a blurb about the person they picked and why. Students did several critiques on each piece halfway throughout the project. Students were also able to present their projects to the class.

It was especially important because Weeksville is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York founded by free African Americans and some of the houses from 1838 still stand there till this day.

How This Project Can Be Useful: 

  • Excellent example of a multi-disciplinary approach to celebrating Black History
  • Compelling example of artwork that has a real impact on the viewer
  • Authentic work that relates to the surrounding neighborhood

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
SL.7.1
  • I can build on other’s ideas during discussions.
SL.7.4
  • I can use effective speaking techniques (appropriate eye contact, adequate volume and clear pronunciation).
SL.7.5
  • I can include multimedia components and visual displays in a presentation to clarify claims and to add emphasis.
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