Preparing Boys for Life

Middle School narrative paintings showcase family experiences

Eighth grade students are completing paintings that represent their family history and ancestry. The boys were tasked with creating a narrative painting about their family experience after studying artist Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series paintings.

The project was complemented by assignments in the students’ history and English classes to research their family ancestry.

“It was important for the students to examine their own family’s unique history for this project,” said Nancy Agati, Middle School art teacher. “By learning about cultural immigration experiences and the work of artist Jacob Lawrence, the boys were able to create a composition that conveys their individual reaction to their own heritage and family’s journey.”

Students created portrait silhouettes showcasing their family’s distinct experience. One student learned about his family’s immigration to America from Ethiopia, while another showcased his ancestors’ history as slaves. Both used their art to represent the challenges their families faced. 

With this project, each student uncovered ways to utilize art as a means for identity expression.