Visual poems are a perennial student art project at Daniel Bagley Elementary (7821 Stone Ave N). For this project, children create a self-portrait or a drawing built not with simple strokes and lines, but with words that support and relate to the picture.
The visual poems on display in the school’s lobby now were created by Mr. Moore’s 4th/5th grade Montessori students in an art class led by Temple McNeer.
“Students were learning about the proportion of the human face through the experience of drawing self-portraits,” says McNeer. “I thought it would be powerful to include text they had written in writer’s workshop as a form of line, melding two forms of self-expression.”
The visual poems run the gamut from literal to funny, but it’s compelling to see words and art intermarry this way.
The portraits will have their public debut at Santoro’s Books (7405 Greenwood Ave N) during the Phinneywood ArtWalk on Friday, May 11 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, May 12, 2012 from noon-5 p.m., and for a week following the ArtWalk.
Until then, here’s a preview:
And check out the self-portraits:
If you’d like to try this at home, it couldn’t be simpler. Draw your image in pencil, fill in words with pen, and erase the pencil lines.