Pro-Test: Distortion of the Self(ie)

As each student arrived at the Kentler this morning, they were immediately greeted by the familiar sight of the Scantron score sheets that were laid out waiting for them. Those testing instruments were to be used as the canvas for this self-portrait project titled: Pro-Test: Distortion of the Self(ie). Taking...Appropriate Academic Assessment.



Teaching Artist Reg Lewis demonstrated how to make a canvas (by gluing together six Scantron sheets, shading the entire canvas with charcoal, and then erasing away the dark surface until the features magically emerge to create light emphasized portraits - portraits aimed to provide a more accurate profile of the student than the standardized testing model of measurement/assessment.





Students remained focused throughout the process and created extraordinary portraits of themselves. Many students expressed how the technique of subtracting form through erasure made them think differently as they approached the work.









Sadie remarked how the process almost felt as if she were working backwards. Either way, all of the students made the adjustment to this approach and quite the contrary progressed forward to realize stunning results.




Kevin put it quite well when he dubbed these works “all portfolio worthy’!


Everyone worked really hard today. And it showed!



Weekend news:


Kudos to ART YARD Kid Daniel for working on my suggested art projects over the weekend! Daniel brought in his sketchbook to show me his work. It was really fun to see his drawings of his home utilizing his newly learned techniques!


Teaching Artists Quentin Williamston and Jenn Dodson, and College Bound ART YARD Teen Blaze and I braved the scorching heat on Sunday trekking to The Brooklyn Museum to see One: Titus Kaphar presented in conjunction Rembrandt to Picasso: Five Centuries of European Works on Paper, a selection of historical artworks from the museum’s European Art collection. As part of the exhibition, Kaphar provides written commentary on selected drawings and prints on view, helping to shine a light on the Eurocentric bias of the art-historical canon. The exhibition is fascinating and thought provoking. While we spent over an hour in the exhibition, all four of us felt we could easily return and find more fodder for thought and new insights. Go see it!!


Titus Kaphar (American, born 1976), Shifting the Gaze, 2017. Oil on canvas, 83 × 103 1/4"

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528), The Great Triumphal Chariot of the Emperor Maximilian I, 1522, begun 1518. Woodcut from eight blocks on eight sheets of laid paper, 16 x 95"


I am hoping that dramatic rain this evening brings some additional relief in the weather for tomorrows lesson with Teaching Artist Fatima Traore which will have us thinking about ecology as it relates to water!


See you in the morning,



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