Black History Month: Art lessons
As part of Black History Month, Year 2 have been learning about the quilters of Gee Bend in Alabama, USA. The ladies here are from a long line of quilters who, for generations, have been coming together to sew and make quilts. Year 2 learnt how, over a hundred years ago, they did this from old cloth scraps, making quilts to keep themselves warm in the winter. Now their work has become world-renowned and can be viewed in galleries across the globe. Year 2 made their own quilt squares using collage, each table collaborated to choose a colour scheme and then the class put their squares together to make a large class quilt. Each class will put their quilts together to make a whole year collaborative quilt in the style of these amazing African-American artists.
Year 4 have also been busy learning about the artist Augustus Savage. They thought of links between her sculpture ‘The Harp’ (1939) and a hymn they listened to called ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’, before discovering that this hymn was actually what inspired Savage to make this sculpture. The poem was written by James Weldon Johnson and was written as a song of freedom and liberty for all black people. Year 4 learnt about Augusta Savage’s life growing up in Florida where she used to play in her back garden and make little clay figures. She became an artist and teacher, becoming part of the Harlem Renaissance and opening her own art school in Harlem which paved the way for many other black artists. As a group, Year 4 made their own version of ‘Harp’ by lining up in height order. They then worked collaboratively and used their photo as a plan to make their own clay version of ‘Harp’.