What Does It Mean To Be Who You Are?
Hayden Parsons
8th Grade visual art students started the semester with an exploration of Identity. “What does it mean to be who you are?” the 8th grade class was asked. Students reflected on the qualities they see in themselves, as well as the qualities others see in them, and how those qualities define their individual identity.
One aspect of identity is appearance. What a person looks like plays a role in a person’s identity and how they experience the world. As a class, students learned about the long history of self-portraiture in art and how artists from different times and places have exposed their own identities through depictions of themselves. Students discussed how a person’s time, place, community and experience shape an identity and how identities shift and change over time.
Provided a mirror and a black and gray photo of themselves, students were taught proportions of the face. Using their knowledge and observational skills, they created a self-portrait reflecting who they are and what they look like. Students were asked to use a limited color palette and to choose colors that might express their own feelings or mood at the time of creation.
In order to explore the deeper aspects of identity, students were asked to create a collage showcasing their qualities and interests. Using watercolor, oil pastel, magazines, and construction paper, students created large identity portraits that express the student’s favorite colors, shapes, interests, hobbies and whatever else spoke to them from the magazines provided. In the center of their collage is a large black and gray cut-out of the student. Once happy with their compositions, students framed their work in construction paper and coated the entire piece in mod podge, a clear drying glue that adds shine and durability to the work.
These works are on display so that our student body, faculty and staff can see who our wonderful 8th grade leaders are and how they express their own identities. 
More of our student artwork will be on display beginning Saturday, October 3rd through Saturday, October 10th during Art For Art's Sake!
  • 8th Grade
  • Creative Arts
  • Middle School