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Identity Exploration. By: Jamie Wilson. Frida Kahlo. “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming-bird”. “The Love Embraces the Universe”. “Self-Portrait as a Tehuana ( Diego on My Mind)”. “ Tree of Hope”. “The Two Frida’s”. Shirin Neshat -”The Women of Allah” series. Sergei Isupov.

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identity exploration

Identity Exploration

By: Jamie Wilson

frida kahlo
Frida Kahlo

“Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming-bird”

“The Love Embraces the Universe”


Students will create a three dimensional piece of artwork that explores personal identity through the use of symbolism. They will view and take part in a discussion about the works of Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, and Sergei Isopuv as well as read the article “Cultural Identity is Constructed and Challenged by Stereotype”(homework), and fill out the “Who Am I” worksheet. They will plan out their ideas through sketching. All of which will assist them in developing an understanding of what identity is and how they can make art about it. Finally, they will participate in mask making with classmates and incorporate various art techniques to create their sculptures’.


1. The students will create a plan through sketching out of their relief sculpture, after completing the worksheet, reading the articles. (National Standard: 1; 2 and US: critical thinking; collaboration)

2. Students will use color, image and composition in order to communicate a significant aspect of their personal identity. (National Standard: 3; 4 and UC: creativity; critical thinking)

3. Students will work with plaster effectively to make a mask of a classmates face . (National Standards: 2; 6 and UC: flexibility and adaptability; collaboration)

4. Students will convey an understanding of color, focal point, repetition, texture and balance. (National Standards: 2 and UC: complex communication)

5. Students will combine elements of art (e.g. sculpture, painting, found object, and mixed media) to create a wall relief sculpture. (National Standards: 1; 2 and UC flexibility and adaption)

6. Students will reflect on their sculptures by participating in a group critique and completing a self-evaluation rubric. (National Standard 5 and UC Complex communication, Collaboration, and Productivity and accountability)

  • Plaster bandages cut into strips
  • Reusable plastic face forms- for those students that don’t want to have one made of them
  • Containers for water- available in the classroom
  • Masking tape
  • paper towels
  • Vaseline-
  • Face soap (hypoallergenic)
  • Scrap plywood- from home or donation.
  • Primer paint Acrylic paint
  • Material scraps- donation
  • Wall paper-donation
  • Magazines- donation
  • Staple gun- from home
  • Found objects (brought from the students home) or have things available in the classroom. Found objects collected by the art instructor or from nature.
mask making
Mask Making
  • Prepare work area (make sure strips are cut ahead of time).
  • Protect subjects hair with a bandana and face with petroleum jelly. Have them lay down on the table.
  • Moisten strips in water, and make an outline of the face with them. Then cover the whole face.
  • Make sure not to cover the nose entirely.
  • Add flaps on the side of the mask so it can be affixed to the wood.
  • Allow the mask to set up before it is removed.