The Celebration of color: How the literature of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 1970s inspire us to find internal beauty and grace

Viloki Udit Patel, Contemporary Craft and Design, Visual Arts, Mallard Creek High School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

I want to take my students on a journey surrounded by the words and art of African American writers and Artists from the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Arts Movement in prose, song, music, performance and visual art. My students will become aware and understand the deep American history that has inspired the emotions felt by these writers and artists.  I would like my students to learn of their American history through the words of writers such as Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, and Toni Morrison.  By making the words and their histories relevant to my students in a contemporary/ 21st century way, I will be able to engage them in a dialogue about “race” and  “color”.  Each student will then interpret literature as a visual art form.

This initial part of the project identifies the students with personal, hands on, understanding of 3-Dimensional Form (an Element of Art) and 2-Dimensional line (an Element of Art).  Students then investigate their own cultural identities by painting their skin tone, thus linking Culture with Art via the Element of Art – Color.  The mixing of the paint color is an extended lesson because of its complex subject matter taken from the text and poetry of the writers we have studied.  The results will show how students in Contemporary Craft and Design have the ability and confidence to create bold, daring, graceful, and expressive gestural sculptures honoring their American culture and identifying with it.