Afterschool 5th‐ and 6th‐grade students in KID smART classes at Akili Academy in New Orleans were part of the Smithsonian’s Will to Adorn Youth Access Program during the 2013–14 school year. Over the course of the year, students studied adornment, style, and culture through the lens of the visual arts. In the fall semester, students created their own patterns, collages, and poetry. In the spring, they focused on learning about local artists by interviewing them about their craft and process. On May 2 the class took a fieldtrip to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to interview and document the artists and craftspeople who show and sell their work in the Congo Square Marketplace. We produced a video of the students in action at the festival to share with family and community members.
Watch the video to see how students learned from these artisans of style! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPr1tVw9LFQ)
Here is what the class wrote and said before showing the video at their afterschool showcase:
Hi! We are representing the class “Art of Style.” The Art of Style is about art you know and don’t know. For example, all types of clothes are art. Look at your shoes, someone designed and made those! Even your body is art. Look around you, everything in this world is art. And, this is what Art of Style is about.
On Friday, May 2, our afterschool class took a trip to Jazz Fest. We went to Jazz Fest to learn about other people and the art they make. We met artists to see what they do for a living and what inspires them. Before we went, we came up with questions we might ask and different jobs for each member of our group to do while we were there. We practiced with the iPad, iPod, iPhone and recorder to prepare.
When we were at Jazz Fest, we learned about different cultures and personalities. For example, we met a jeweler named Baba, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He told us that “Dreams are real and the real are dreams.” This relates to art because he says he dreams about art and then draws them out to make jewelry designs out of silver. That quote by Baba inspired me by encouraging me to succeed and be the best I can be.
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