Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Museum Trip to see Frida Kahlo

Last March, we took the youth in our art program to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. Half of the kids had never been inside the museum before and none of them had ever visited one of the special exhibits that come through the museum. Ordinarily, tickets to see these exhibits are around $25. But the museum had a special group of tickets that they were giving away to community groups. We were thrilled! Most of the kids new a little something about Frida's work. One of my older teens told me he thought she was so arrogant. "She just paints herself over and over again." I asked him to think about why someone would do that as he looked at her work. Before we went, I gave them some background information and we looked at a few of her more famous paintings. They each listened to the audio tour provided by the museum and they learned a lot. When I had them respond a week later, they were each able to speak about her paintings; it was really interesting to me what stuck with them...

“The fruit painting was my favorite and it showed a flag and a bird standing on it. That was my favorite part about it.” Jasmine Rene, age 11

“[I liked] the twins when they were sitting down and have all these things connected to each other.” Markita Jones, age 15

“[I liked] the self portrait when she said that she was very ugly and she made her skin ugly with a crack.” Ikeisha Manson, age 12

“The painting Mother and Child, had a mother on a balcony holding a 2 year old boy and the balcony floor breaks which makes the mother and child fall a couple of feet down. But the irony is that he mother and child don’t die or get hurt badly.” Jazmin Lopez, age 16.

"[I liked] the painting with Frida and her husband. It shows that they are together but separated at the same time.” Rafael Gonzalez, age 17

"There was one painting that showed Frida on a hospital bed. She was naked and bleeding. There were certain symbols in the painting that represented her state. She couldn’t have children: broken uterus. She had to go to the hospital numerous times. She was in an accident that seriously changed her life. She was heartbroken.” Alexis Wright-Whitley, age 15

After viewing the exhibit, I asked they kid who thought that Frida was arrogant what he thought. He responded, "She changed my mind about that."

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