Perspectiva de Curahuasi
A few weeks back at the school was Activities Week, basically teachers were to create different projects for the students to pick to do for the entire week, and then on Friday we’d have a fair to show what they had done all week.
I decided to do a painting class called Perspectiva de Curahuasi (perspective of Curahuasi) where on the first day we would go explore our town and take photos of what represented Curahuasi to the students. Then we’d spend the rest of the week painting a picture based of the photo they took. I was equally excited and nervous to take on this project. Excited because I’d be spending a week working only with students who loved art and painting as much as I do. Nervous because, well it would long hours speaking Spanish with 14 kids on my own, was I really equipped to teach them?
So, the first day we spent about 4 hours walking around the town taking pictures of whatever caught their attention. I was so lucky to have the help of my friend Debora who is a wonderful photographer to teach the kids how to take good photos.
When we got back to school we went through the photos with all of the students and had them pick their favorite photo out of the 3 or 4 each of them took.
Then I printed the pictures for them, and they began to sketch out their drawings. The next day some still sketched while most began to start drawing on their canvas.
After they sketched out their drawings onto their canvas, they began to paint, my favorite part! A lot of them had never used acrylic paints before (I’ve only used water colors and tempera in regular class because it’s cheaper and cleaner) so I first taught them how to paint using these types of paints. I also brought in a painting of my own that I was working on to teach them a few techniques I do. While they painted, I walked around assisting them with color choices, how to make different colors, or teaching them different ways to make their paintings come alive. I was extremely impressed by how well they all worked, I guess since they all chose this class they all loved art and wanted to work. I didn’t have to make anyone work nor was my class ever excessively loud, they were all working hard and enjoying what they were doing. I was also so impressed with the natural talent and how teachable they were. I want to show you some photos and explain more about what I was impressed with in some particular students.
In the end the paintings turned out BEAUTIFUL! Friday was crazy getting ready for the fair. Since this was my first year doing this, I wasn’t really prepared for how much work Friday would be and exactly what I needed to do for this event. I ended up displaying the paintings in this really white hallway with nothing but benches in it. We hung the paintings and below I taped a polaroid of the actual photo they took with a description of why they picked that picture and why it represented Curahuasi for them. It looked like a straight up art gallery!!!
I wasn’t able to get a picture with each student holding or next to their art because some ended up working literally until the very last minute. But I do have a video of all the paintings at the end of this blog.*
I absolutely loved teaching these students, I was amazed at how well they could paint at their ages, and I must admit I was proud of myself for being able to teach them. I hope you enjoy the photos and videos.