Amanda Gorman (Poetry as Activism)
What is Portraiture? “Portraiture is the recording of an individual's appearance and personality, whether in a photograph, painting, sculpture, or any other medium. What makes it so magical is its ability to depict not only the physical but also psychological characteristics of a figure” (What Is Portraiture in the Context of Contemporary Art? Widewalls) and “A portrait is a representation of a particular person. A self-portrait is a portrait of the artist by the artist. Portraiture is a very old art form going back at least to ancient Egypt, where it flourished from about 5,000 years ago. Before the invention of photography, a painted, sculpted, or drawn portrait was the only way to record the appearance of someone. But portraits have always been more than just a record. They have been used to show the power, importance, virtue, beauty, wealth, taste, learning or other qualities of the sitter” (Portrait – Art Term | Tate). Portraiture has been used as a means of promoting political and social issues. This unit will help students analyze portraitures and the issues that are hidden beneath them.
Most children have some experience with being a part of a community as a result of their connections with their family, school, and neighborhood. Before they can consider community leadership roles, they must first consider what community means to them. Talking about activism, activists, and leaders helps children understand how a community can change. This unit will provide students with the opportunity to consider the meaning of these concepts as well as the relationship between community activism and the visual arts.
Artists from the past contributed to and shaped historical moments of transition. Protest is what makes artists who they are and makes them want to act. However, the ability to spread art to a general audience, to people or groups who might not know about the larger protest or show support for protest movements, even if they don't like it, makes it possible for the public.
Historically the right to vote has been the way many citizens gain full access to democracy. In American history, sometimes the right to vote was not afforded to its citizens and this influenced many historical movements such as the Civil Rights Movement, Harlem Renaissance, Women Suffrage. This unit will help students understand the history of voting in the United States and ways in which citizens have lifted their voices to earn, retain or exercise their right to vote, freedom, and equality.