Art as celebration.Celebrations are an essential part of the human experience. They are used in cultures around the world to build community, maintain traditions, foster ethnic pride, observe special days, commemorate historical events, and honor important individuals. Including "celebration" as a theme in the art curriculum allows students to study ways that art can connect us to each other, and to recognize the important role that artists can play in contributing individually and collectively to the cultural fabric of a community. These Web sites provide cross-cultural examples of art as celebration.
Students will enjoy exploring the Metropolitan Museum's interactive site about "The Block" by Romare Bearden Romare Bearden, (September 2, 1911, in Charlotte, North Carolina—March 12, 1988 in New York, New York) was an African-American artist and writer. He worked in several media including, cartoons, oils, and collage. (www.metmuseum.org/ explore/the_block/index_flash. html), which depicts life on a street in Harlem, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . Jacob Lawrence Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 - June 9, 2000) was an African American painter; he was married to fellow artist Gwendolyn Knight. Life
Lawrence is probably among the best-known twentieth century African American painters, a distinction also shared by Romare Bearden. and Faith Ringgold Faith Ringgold (born October 8, 1930) is an African-American artist and author.
Ringgold was born and raised in Harlem and educated at the City College of New York, where she studied with Robert Gwathmey and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. also found inspiration in the Harlem community in which they were raised. A number of Lawrence's works show scenes of everyday life in Harlem, whereas others illustrate historical themes and stories related to the cultural heritage of African-American people. Two sites rich with material about Lawrence's life and work include Jacob Lawrence: Exploring Stories (whitney.org/jacoblawrence) and Jacob Lawrence: Over the Line (www.phillipscollection.org/lawrence). Faith Ringgold is best-known for her "story quilts." In "Bitter Nest #2: Harlem Renaissance Harlem Renaissance, term used to describe a flowering of African-American literature and art in the 1920s, mainly in the Harlem district of New York City. During the mass migration of African Americans from the rural agricultural South to the urban industrial North Party" (www.faithringgold. com/ringgold/d41.htm), Ringgold honors writers, poets, and scholars from the Harlem Renaissance who are shown sitting at a dinner table.
The Smithsonian American Art American art, the art of the North American colonies and of the United States. There are separate articles on American architecture, North American Native art, pre-Columbian art and architecture, Mexican art and architecture, Spanish colonial art and architecture, Museum's African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. Masters traveling exhibition (americanart.si.edu/collections/exhibits/highlights), includes sixty-one works by artists such as John Biggers, William H. Johnson, and Gordon Parks. Another site worth checking out features the Kwanzaa Playground (arts.osu.edu/ArtEducation/kplayground/welcome.html), Ohio's first Africentric, arts-inspired playground, built in 1993 on the East side of Columbus, Ohio. To learn more about Kwanzaa, the African-American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates family, community and culture, visit the Official Kwanzaa Web Site (www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org).
The Living and the Dead
The Virtual Museum of Canada's Festivities fes·tiv·i·ty
n. pl. fes·tiv·i·ties
1. A joyous feast, holiday, or celebration; a festival.
2. The pleasure, joy, and gaiety of a festival or celebration.
3. of the Living and the Dead in the Americas exhibition (www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Festival) examines ten unique cultural celebrations held annually in diverse ethnic communities across the Americas. Perhaps the best-known of these festive events is Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos Día de los Muer·tos
See Day of the Dead.
[Spanish : día, day + de, of + los, the + muertos, pl. of muerto, dead.] ), which is celebrated on the first and second days of November throughout Mexico, Latin America, and in many areas of the United States. For example, see photos of the Day of the Dead/Offering to Frida Kahlo created by Carmen Lomas Garza Carmen Lomas Garza (b. 1948) is a Mexican American artist. Biography
Carmen Lomas Garza was born in 1948 in Kingsville, Texas. She experienced significant racism growing up, and she was not allowed to speak Spanish in school. on her Web site (www. carmenlomasgarza.com/gallery/ installations_kahlo.html).
To learn more about the traditions associated with Day of the Dead festivities as well as related classroom activities, see the Lawndale Art Center's Day of the Dead Web site (www.lawndaleartcenter. org/dod/dodhmpg.htm). For elementary students, there is a Day of the Dead Web site (www.mexic-artemuseum.org/education/dell-edu/home. html) researched and designed by fifth-grade students at Blackshear Elementary School in Austin, Texas. If you want students to compare how different cultures celebrate and honor the dead, you might have them research the Japanese observance of Obon (animefringe.com/ magazine/01.08/feature/3), which is held each year in the middle of August.
Murals and public art projects celebrate, reflect, and preserve the identity and history of communities. One of the best examples of this is the Great Wall of Los Angeles The Great Wall of Los Angeles is a mural designed by Judith Baca and executed by community youth and artists coordinated by the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). (www.sparcmurals.org: 16080/ sparcone), which celebrates the cultural diversity of the city and the contributions that different groups have made to its history. With over a thousand public murals throughout the area (rpmurals.home.att. net), Los Angeles has been billed as the unofficial "mural capital of the world." The Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia (www.muralarts.org) might dispute that claim, however, having completed more than 2000 mural projects in the city's neighborhoods.
Craig Roland is an associate professor of art education in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Florida University of Florida is the third-largest university in the United States, with 50,912 students (as of Fall 2006) and has the eighth-largest budget (nearly $1.9 billion per year). UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. in Gainesville, Florida. He is the author of The Art Teacher's Guide to the Internet (Davis Publications, 2005) and an advisory board member for SchoolArts. email@example.com.