Project 6: Surrender the Self - Bridge the Divide

As an Art teacher, I know that every child possesses the basic human need to create.  Although the world is a complex place, when students bridge cultures through the arts, the elegant and unifying simplicity of what it means to be human is apparent. 

This year, we will once again collaborate with Mr. Jason Splichal, a good friend and colleague, currently teaching 7th grade English at South Middle School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to provide the opportunity for hundreds of students to understand and connect their worlds.

In this project, Surrender the Self – Bridge the Divide, each of my art students in Guatemala will the use 27 photographs taken by each of Mr. Splichal’s South Middle School English 7 students, as inspiration to create a clay mask 2,100 miles away. Their challenge is to visually display the personalities and lives of their American counterparts using line, shape, form, color, texture, and space. After receiving photographs of the masks and personal writing from us, South Middle school students will be challenged, as writers, to engage with that visual art and provide written responses that endow each of the masks and ceramic works with a different creative context--art begetting art--students, as cross-cultural creators, in dialogue with their ever-evolving creations.

No matter where you are from geographically, what culture you identify with, or language you speak, the basic needs of creating and sharing connect us all . . . and not just knowing this, but feeling it will provide our students with an opportunity unlike any other they have experienced.


Lesson Plans

Process Explanation in steps

“Reading” the Photographs in 3 Steps

Introduction to Masks Power Point (too large to upload . . . see me!)

Visual Communication in Masks Worksheet


Display of Student Work