I typically try to reach out to the artists that we learn about in class (if they are still living). Once in a while, we get a tweet or an email back from them. 3rd grade recently learned about Julie Mehretu and even received a few tweets of praise back from her!
3rd grade is currently wrapping up learning about one of my favorite artists, Julie Mehretu! Each year, I give the table groups in my room a different theme and this year's theme is contemporary female artists. Julie Mehretu is one of my table groups and students have been hoping to learn about her! This project was also inspired by another art teacher who made abstractions of maps on iPads that were inspired by Mehretu.
Mehretu is originally from Ethiopia but has since moved to the Michigan where she has spent most of her life. She is very inspired by architecture and chooses bits and pieces from different buildings and perspectives to paint. She also uses a lot of maps, charts, blueprints, etc in her work. She puts layer upon layer upon layer of different lines, shapes, and colors to build up her eye-catching paintings.
Students were given the opportunity to choose from quite a few different maps that I had screen-shotted from Google Maps. After choosing a map, they slid their map into a see-through paper protector. Students then used sharpies to color in certain parts of the map. They could color entire buildings, parts of buildings, roads, etc.
The second class, they chose a new map and slid it into their paper protectors. This time, they put it in backwards so they were working on the side of the paper protector that they didn't work on last time. They continued to color in parts of the map.
The final day, students chose a final map and colored in parts of the map on a transparency sheet. While they worked, I used double-sided tape to tape their paper protector to a white sheet of paper. I did this so that their lines and shapes of color would show up better on the finished product. At the end of class, students slid their transparency into their paper protectors and this created a work of art that used 3 different layered maps.
I'm super pumped with how awesome these turned out! This has become one of my favorite projects!
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President-Elect. Apple Teacher.