Warner girls learn to express identity through art (Photo gallery)
CMSD NEWS BUREAU
Jeremy Tugeau, an art teacher at Warner Girls’ Leadership Academy, and 15 fifth-graders toured an exhibit of African masks Friday at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This wasn't just a field trip to the museum -- it was a deep dive into how art represents identity,.
Tugeau was one of 10 Northeast Ohio teachers selected to participate in a CMA fellowship program designed to research and create visual art learning experiences for students. His research posed the question: How can young people explore their identities by making art?
Tugeau helped the students think about what makes up their own identities. They studied masks from African tribes and components of an invidual's identity such as environment, family, culture and religion. Before going to the museum, they made masks that reflected who they are.
At the museum, students looked at various masks and shared their thoughts on what each mask was used for and how the masks made them feel. They also expressed their identities through activities such as building LEGO figures.
After the tour, the class posed for photographs wearing the masks they had made. Using paper bags donated by Whole Foods, students had created masks with paints, pastels, paper and other art supplies.
Tugeau said the trip went beyond teaching the girls about art and identity.
“I want to show them what Cleveland has to offer,” he said. “They have so much in their own back yard.”