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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Drawing attention to the staff

Student drawings
Another strategy to cheer myself up is through the development of my latest project for the drawing classes. I wanted the kids to actually SEE the people who keep the campus running everyday. And I want the staff to feel SEEN and appreciated. To see "the other" is a powerful phenomena. It can change lives. It certainly changes hearts. The students each wrote a letter to a member of the kitchen, maintenance or security staff, telling them a little about themselves and asking for permission to try rendering their likeness.

Our school is run by a real melting pot of Americans. Most are first or second generation immigrants. They had lives before coming to the school that are intriguing. Guess which one was a math teacher? Which one was a TV star? Who could be your next Uber driver?  The Spanish honors class is going to run interviews with the subjects that will be placed with the drawings when they go on display.

I abandoned the rule of drawing from life because of the limited time, the loss of class time due to a recent flu, and the distractions of the countries election. So we are working from photographs and using the grid transfer method.

 The kids took their own reference photos.

It is turning out much better than I thought. The semester and this course in black and white drawing ends in a couple weeks, and after next week we are on a holiday break. But looking at the work makes me proud of the kids. They are working hard and carefully in hopes of producing a respectful likeness. And, as an added benefit, we now know all the names of the day staff so walking the halls has become a much warmer experience because of it.
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