A Place Called Home

See how students featured their hometown in this mixed media art lesson inspired by Aminah Robinson.  Using burlap, paint, clay, and stitching, students show you what's it's like to grow up in Hilliard, OH.

We learned that Aminah Robinson made works of art called "RagGonNons".  She made up that term to describe how they go on and on being added to.  Her work is filled with buttons, stitches, paint and other found objects sewn together, such as neckties and shells.  Her work tells stories of black history and of her own family and community.  She was a Columbus treasure who passed away recently. Her work can be viewed at the Columbus Museum of Art.  

Students were challenged to come up with an image that shows what it's like to grow up in their own hometown.  

The Process:
1) Students made sketchbook drawings from the essential question, "What's it like to grow up in your hometown?"

2) Students drew their favorite drawing on burlap using a Sharpie marker.  (Yes this is hard on the markers, so use up your older markers).  

3) Students made clay faces or bodies out of clay.  They needed to think about how they would attach the clay to the burlap.

4)  Students added color using tempera cakes.  They were encouraged to mix colors on the burlap and use lots of white to lighten up the colors.

5)  After painting the pieces of clay with the tempera, students went to work sewing and adding on beads and other found (or made) objects.

This project did take a chunk of time, but the results were worth it!  Students could tell you about their work and how it represents a meaningful part of growing up 

Here are some more great blog posts you might enjoy!

Dyed and Stamped Pillows, by Masterpiece Momma
Relief Printmaking and Colored Pencil, by Look Between the Lines
Zen Doodle Pinch Pots, by Ms Artastic
Henna Hands Art Lesson, by Picassa's Palette
Past and Future Hands, by A Space to Create Art

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  1. I love this idea. It incorporates so many things- painting, sewing, ceramics- what a great way to check off a lot of boxes at the same time!

    1. Thanks, Shutterstitch! Yes ... it took a while to complete, but students had a chance to add lots of media and seemed to really enjoy the process!

  2. I can't help but love a personalized project, these turned out adorable.

    1. Thanks, Whitney! Students do seem to really respond to making art based on their personal experiences.

  3. Beautiful work. I love this process-based art lesson. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Sabrina! I think students really enjoyed the process and were able to go in many directions.

  4. These are absolutely brilliant! I love how they are based on a local artist and incorporate lots of different materials. You have me thinking on a mixed media project idea. :-)

  5. Thanks! We were so lucky to have an artist like Aminah Robinson to study. The more I look at her work, the more I love it! It's all about community!

  6. LOVE everything about your local-artist-inspired mixed media project! I truly feel that sewing is such an essential skill to "stitch" into the art curriculum. What a truly well thought-out lesson!

  7. What grade or age group was this for? These turned out great!


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