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Morse 1st Graders Create Self Portraits Inspired by Artist Frida Kahlo

Legendary artist Frida Kahlo once said of her many self-portraits, “I paint self-portraits because I am the person I know best.” It is a difficult task to be both the subject and creator of artwork, but Ms. Jeanette Dietz’ first grade students are enthusiastically approaching the process in their own journey of self discovery by creating self-portraits inspired by Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter best known for her brilliantly colored works that deal with such themes as identity, the human body, and even death. 

The self-portrait projects will be generated over four weeks. Last week, students began by sketching their faces, including their mouths, eyes and ears. “Week two the focus is adding those things that make them, them,” said Ms. Dietz.  Adding the things that make each of them unique, the young artists sketched their hairstyles, clothing, freckles and - as would be expected for many first graders - missing baby teeth. “I lost a bunch of my teeth, so I made the spaces in my smile,” said one first grade student.

Every January, Ms. Dietz guides her students on this journey of putting to paper a reflection of the image they see of themselves. “Developmentally, they are ready. Not only, in terms of their skill level as young artists, but also they are beginning to understand that people are different,” said Ms. Dietz. “People might look different or have different interests, and as first graders they are beginning to think about where they fit in.”

Stay tuned to see the students progress as next week they will begin to paint and add color to their artwork!