The Echo

Portraits by Drawing and Illustration class

Black History Month art showcase

Nietzsche Deuel

Freshman Erick Erickson said he chose to draw Frank Ocean because he appreciates his music as well as his contribution to black history. “I figured Frank Ocean was a pioneer for black gay people. I personally love him and his music. I listen to his albums of repeat and he’s an icon to me,” Erickson said.

Art teacher Martha Ortman said she decided to have her students draw portraits of of people who made contributions to the black community after meeting with her equity coach.

“This year I met with my equity coach and asked him how I could infuse equitable teaching with a racially conscious lense and drawing,” Ortman said. “He said in honor of Black History Month have them draw somebody from black history.”

From her own education, Ortman feels people who made significant impacts on history and society are left out because of racial bias, Ortman said.

“I introduced it as in our education, in mine especially, there were a lot of things left out, a lot of people in our society who have made contributions to society and were probably ignored because they were black,” Ortman said.

Ortman said the rules of the project were determined by wanting her students to find a historical black person who wasn’t very well known.

“I wanted them to do some digging and find people who had made positive contributions to society and do research on them. The rule was that it could not be somebody famous,” Ortman said.

According to Ortman this project gives students the chance to learn and share people in black history.

“We don’t know anything about a lot of people in our society because they were black.  It gave everybody a chance to research and learn something about them,” Ortman said. “It gave (students)a chance to pick somebody that meant something to them to share with other people.”

The Art Department will soon be showcasing their newest project as Black History Month has passed. The new projects from the art classes will be displayed in the C2 hallways by the art room.

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Portraits by Drawing and Illustration class