22 Feb 5th Grade – Self-Portraits inspired by Aminah Robinson
Formally known as, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Aminah Robinson has become one of my top 10 favorite artists I teach. Her artwork is no narrative, students love to see it, hear the story and are ready to create after the incredible visual stimulation of a slideshow of her work.
Here are a few fun facts about Aminah Robinson along with some of my favorite original pieces of hers:
- Aminah lived her entire life in Columbus, Ohio
- Aminah decided one day, she was sick and tired of doing her hair, so she cut it all off. She lived many years bald by choice.
- The elder women in her family had a huge impact on her art. They shared many stories of how their ancestors came from Africa as slaves, and then the road to freedom. Aminah’s art is filled with these stories and stories of others she found in hundreds of hours of research in the library, one of her favorite places.
- Aminah’s dad also impacted her art, he taught her to see with deep concentration. She would look at something until she could turn away and sketch it from memory in her sketchbook. He taught her how to sculpt out of “Hogmawg” – a made up clay, made from mud, sticks, glue and pigment.
- Aminah is most known for her “RagGonNon’s” – A work of art that took years to create and research. They reference the past, present and future.
My 5th Graders created Self-Portraits inspired. They drew themselves in the mirror, outlined with sharpie, then watercolored.
Next, they glues their paintings down to a piece of foam core and switched to oil pastel. The goal was to share with the world, their story, what they want to be or who they are right now. As they worked, they used fabric and paper scraps, sequence, jewels and buttons, just like Aminah Robinson.