Thursday, November 9, 2023

High school black boys as sketch artists

I opened our conference for high school black boys by telling the attendees about one of my professors, William Harris. 

He's a poet and scholar, I told the guys, but when he goes to museums, he becomes a sketch artist. He's not some big-time painter by any stretch. He just provides lil drawings of things that interest him, or he sketches what he wants to recall for later. 

I then gave the students pens and sheets of paper on clipboards and told them that they should "pull a Harris," which is to say, during our day of activities, produce sketches of things you find interesting. You don't need to be a talented artist, just produce sketches of what you want to remember or what fascinates you. 

Listen, several of the guys really took to the idea being sketch artists. They were really devoted to the practice of drawing images that they encountered throughout the day. Some students spent an extensive amount of time producing one or two images. Others managed to produce several different images. 

Some of the guys were devoted to sketching African sculptures from our book browsing activity. Some of the guys wanted to reproduce images that Kehinde Wiley had drawn. 

It was really something to witness all these high school students transform themselves into sketch artists. 


1 comment:

Tyehimba Jess said...

Very Inspiring! Glad to see this program for Black boys!