Welcome to Art Room 161

This blog was created as an extension of the dialogue that began in our classroom and the purpose is to share creative ideas, images, and critiscm. All posts should be appropriate for the high school classroom and critiscm should be helpful and positive.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Drawing: Walt Whitman

Our last Drawing assignment will be a collaborative portrait of the great poem and former Smithtown teacher Walt Whitman.  Walt Whitman taught in the Smithtown school district in the late 1890s in a one room school house and had 85 students on his roster although at the time attendance wasn't compulsory and the actual attendance was usually much smaller. We will be dividing the image above of Whitman at 50 years old up into a grid and each student will draw a portion of the grid which will combine into a large portrait that will be hung.  

If you are not that aware of Whitman's work, his quintessential book of poetry Leaves of Grass is a great place to start and I'd like to share a piece of his advice with you from it's forward:

"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body"

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