By Devon Garcia ’21 and Lily Poppen ’22
Below is a series of website-based at-home activities exploring the thematic concepts of There Is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art. Activities are generally suited for elementary and middle school students, but they are open and adaptable enough for participation by older students.
Artworks featured below inspired each activity, but feel free to browse the Catalogue section for an overview of the exhibition and the works included.
Find a photo someone else took of you.
- Do you especially like it? Why?
- What does it make you feel?
Compare it to a photo you took of yourself.
- Are there certain objects in the photo that are different from those in the photo somebody else took?
- What outfit did you wear, or what pose are you doing, and why?
- What is the difference between these photos?
Turn on a flashlight and shine it toward a bare spot on a wall. Leave several feet between the wall and light – enough for you to fit between the two freely!
Turn off all other lights, letting a shadow cast on the wall.
Stand between the flashlight and wall and try moving in different ways. Make sure to
look at how the shape of your body and clothes shift as you move.
Try out these ideas:
- Dance slowly
- Lift and stretch your limbs then crouch down
- Turn your body to the side
- Reach for the ceiling
- Act out a story
Notice how your shadow could feel alive depending on your movement.
Now, imagine you met your shadow in real-life!
- What would be your first impression of your shadow? Is there anything you’d ask?
- Do you think your shadow looks like you? Why or why not?
- Could someone that saw your shadow be able to tell who you are without seeing you? What hints might your shadow give?
- Think about a shadow’s shape and color: what does this show or not show us about the person creating the shadow?
(If you’d like, snap a photo and post your shadow images or your movements tagging #BCMA in your caption — we’d love to hear your answers to some of these questions!)
First, think about what you did in the past day or so. Write down a list of what you can remember. If you’d like, try writing it as if it were a story!
- What sorts of events or activities did you include in your list or story?
- Think about what sorts of emotions you connect with these things – are most of these things generally positive, negative, or neither? Are they exciting? Boring?
- How would you feel reading your list or story out loud to someone else?
Next, look for another object that is broken or falling apart. If you can, find a piece of clothing that needs to be repaired: maybe it is dirty or torn, buttons are missing, or a seam is falling out.
Try to put your object back together without asking someone else for help.
- Were you able to fix this object?
- Do you see this object any differently than you did before you held it and tried to change it?
- Did you feel as if you were being creative?
Think of some words you would use to describe this experience – are they similar to any of the emotions you felt during the first part of this activity?
Look around your living space for some everyday objects – candles, picture frames, lamps, clocks, house plants, wall art, etc.
- Are there any objects or images that you see a lot? What do they look like?
- If an object is yours, do you feel like it represents who you are?
For some of the objects, write down when they were first placed in your house. If you don’t know, ask someone else if they know. See if they know why it was put there or what it means.
For each object:
- What purpose does it have?
- Does it always stay in the same place (on a shelf, on a table, on a wall, etc.)? Why or why not?
- If you asked someone else about why it was put in your house, do you agree with their story?
Now think about all of the objects together:
- Do these objects tell a story about your family?
- Do they mean something specific to your family?
- Do you know anyone outside of your family that has some of the same objects? If so, do you think they mean something different to those people?
Find old newspapers, magazines, or books that are okay to cut up. Take a look through the pages, looking at images or words.
Do you see anything that stands-out? Don’t think too much – go with your first impressions!
Highlight or cut out the something that catches your eye. Maybe there is a certain image or font, color or quote you like. Anything goes!
Put whatever you cut out on the center of a piece of paper. Using cardstock, scissors, glue, etc. or whatever else you’d like, start creating a collage!
Repeat the process by looking for text or images that interest you and add them to your collage.
- Look back to your first cutout piece – what is it?
- If it is an image or photo, do you know who made the picture?
- If it is text, do you know who wrote these words?
- Was anything hard about making this?
- Are the different words and/or images in your collage related?
- Does your collage create a new story? What is that story?
Show your artwork to someone else who has not seen it before:
- What is their reaction?
- If someone took your words and used them to make their own work of art, how would you feel?
(Feel free to take a photo of your artwork, upload it, and tag #BCMA to show everyone your creations and thoughts!)