student working on a laptop

Causing "Good Trouble"

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Every year, Landmark School's High School Visual Arts Department challenges students to collaborate on a charcoal portrait of people who have been positive agents of change. Subjects have included a range of individuals from the original Apollo astronauts, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, and even the founding faculty members of the School. 

As co-head of the department, Beth Jamieson, said, “When choosing the subject for the collaborative charcoal project, we look at the events of the past year and consider pivotal figures. We decided on former U.S. Congressman John Lewis, who passed away in July, to acknowledge his contributions to racial justice and voting rights—two important issues of 2020.”

Jamieson continued, “The goal of the collaborative portrait project for the Drawing class, is to learn to draw realistic portraits by identifying shapes, values, relationships, and texture by rendering them using newly-learned charcoal techniques. Students are taught the method of gridding to break down a drawing into smaller pieces in order to observe detail and draw accurate placement. Each student was given three sections of the grid/portrait to focus on and they worked together to assemble the complete composition.”  

In order to put the subject of John Lewis into context for the seven drawing students, the class watched the 2020 documentary, Good Trouble, about Lewis’s life and impact on the civil rights movement.

2020-21 Drawing Students: Angie A., Julia B., Mia K., Amelia S., Bella S., Sydney S., Isabella T-B.

Collaborative charcoal drawing of John Lewis