Purr-fect Portraits

Clockwise from top left: Ellie B. from CA; Sarah K. from MA; Anna; Joe Walsky from DC; and Tracey from VT.

Clockwise from top left: Ellie B. from CA; Sarah K. from MA; Anna; Joe Walsky from DC; and Tracey from VT.

Visitors to our portrait-making station in the American Moments exhibition have not just been capturing human likenesses. These submissions featured a number of animals. Here are a few that we think are doggone terrific!

American Moments Photo Contest Honorable Mentions

Last week, we announced the grand prize winner of the American Moments photo contest. Put your hands together for our five Honorable Mentions! These submissions caught the attention of our judges for their thoughtful captions and artful composition. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Honorable Mention_Chuck Flether_DC Street Hoops

Photo: Chuck Fletcher

DC Street Hoops by Chuck Fletcher
This American Moment was taken on U Street in Washington DC, the city’s cultural epicenter of black history. Until the 1920s, the U Street Corridor was home to the nation’s largest urban African American community. During the 1920s and 1930s, the area thrived with world-renowned entertainment venues like the Howard and Lincoln Theaters and private clubs hosting legendary entertainers including the neighborhood’s own Edward “Duke” Ellington. In 1968, the neighborhood declined after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the resulting DC riots. Today, we see a diverse blend of nationalities, talent, and skin tones on U Street.

Honorable Mention_Andrew Nathan Morgan_Nathan

Photo: Andrew Nathan Morgan

Nathan by Andrew Nathan Morgan
Picture I took of my son on his first trip to NYC. He’s looking over the city from the top of the Empire State building. We took a train from DC and spent the day walking around, seeing as much as we could before catching the train back.

Honorable Mention_Ann McCormick Saybolt_Fourth of July

Photo: Ann McCormick Saybolt

Fourth of July by Ann McCormick Saybolt
Annual parade in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington, DC. Americans were warned by federal homeland security officials to “remain vigilant” during holiday celebrations due to a heightened security alert. July 4, 2015.

Honorable Mention_Lou Havlicek_Mom_2016_06–29

Photo: Lou Havlicek

Mom_2016_06–29 by Lou Havlicek
So many baby boomers are dealing with aging parents today. Though there is profound beauty in death—just as in birth—this does not make the road leading towards it any less hard. I took this image of my mother as she enters her final days. Our family is so grateful to my sister who has both the burden and privilege of caring for her. There is no tougher job. The rest of us help as we can, but negotiating the maze of the American healthcare system makes an already difficult time even more so.

Honorable Mention_Jere Kittle_A November Fog

Photo: Jere Kittle

A November Fog by Jere Kittle
Dense fog minimizes details, revealing the bold dynamic between a pair of bridges—one suspended beneath the other—and reflects the contrast in lifestyle and pace between the decades that separate them. The upper bridge carries vehicular traffic along historic U.S. Route 1; the lower, suspended by cables, provides pedestrian access to Belle Isle, a 540-acre natural area in the James River in the heart of Richmond, Virginia. Two figures cross over river rapids below for a morning walk on the island where forested trails and rock formations offer respite from 21st century urban life.

Phillips-at-Home Summer Series #2: Sense of Space

Our second project of the Phillips-at-Home Summer Series features the artist Juan Gris and his work Abstraction. For this art activity, you are going to create an abstract monoprint of a room focusing on the objects that make up that room. What is a monoprint? It is a single print made of an image from a printing plate.

Juan Gris, Abstraction, 1915, Oil and oil with sand on cardboard 11 3/8 x 7 3/4 in. Acquired 1930. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Juan Gris, Abstraction, 1915, Oil and oil with sand on cardboard 11 3/8 x 7 3/4 in. Acquired 1930. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Look closely: What do you see when you look at this painting? How do the colors make you feel? What do you like about the composition of this painting?

About the Artist: Juan Gris was born Jose Victoriano Gonzalez on March 23, 1887, in Madrid, Spain. He began college in 1902 at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas to be an engineer but he left the school in 1904 to study painting with artist Jose Maria Carbonero. He started painting in the Art Nouveau style and then moved to Paris because he wanted to meet Pablo Picasso. In 1911, he created his first cubist paintings, which (as you can see above) have a very distinctive grid composition style. The Phillips Collection has two paintings by Gris in its permanent collection.

WHAT YOU NEED:

Here are the items I chose from our art workshop

Here are the items I chose from our art workshop

 

  • Items that represent any room of your choosing

    Supplies needed

    All supplies needed

  • 2 (8.5” x 11”) sheets copy paper
  • 1 (8.5” x 11”) sheet cardstock, or thick paper
  • 1 Styrofoam (4” x 6”) plate
  • Washable markers (permanent markers are not recommended for this project)
  • Tape
  • Scissors

SUGGESTED AGE:

  • Ages 7 and up

TIME FRAME:

  • 3-4 hours
Step 2 example

Step 2 example

 

STEPS:

1. Choose a room in your house or anywhere that gives you a sense of space. Collect objects in that room that symbolize the space for you.

2. Fold your sheet of 8.5” x 11” copy paper in half and then in half again so you have 4 rectangles on each side.

  • Tip: Draw along the folds so you can clearly see the boxes.

 

 

 

 

3. Sketch one object from your space in each rectangle of your sheet as a symbol. What is a symbol? A symbol is something that represents something else. It becomes simplified.

Step 3 example

Step 3 example

Step 3 example

Step 3 example

Step 3 example

Step 3 example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Fold another piece of copy paper into quarters. Draw one of your symbols in a rectangle, then move your paper around and draw another symbol on top of it. Rotate your paper while drawing your symbols until you can’t quite tell what they are. By doing this, you are creating an abstraction. What is an abstraction? Abstract is something that is real, but it does not quite look like it. Repeat this same process in the 4 rectangles on your paper, creating 4 different compositions.

Step 4 example

Step 4 example

Step 4 example

Step 4 example

Step 4 example

Step 4 example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Choose your favorite composition. Get your styrofoam plate and a pencil.  Apply medium pressure as your draw your symbols from your favorite composition onto the styrofoam plate.

Step 5 example

Step 5 example

Step 5 example

Step 5 example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Fold the piece of Cardstock in half (hamburger-style), make a tape bubble (loop your tape to create a circle) to place on the back of your styrofoam plate and center it on one side of the inside of your fold (resembling a card).

Step 6 example

Step 6 example

Step 6 example

Step 6 example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Time to get out your markers! Choose a shape to color in, put down the marker and quickly close the card. Gently rub the area where you applied the marker on the opposite side. Open the card to see how it looks. Depending on the color, you might have to apply marker onto your shape several times. As long as you begin to rub your paper immediately, you should not have to worry about the saturation.

Step 7 example

Step 7 example

Step 7 example

Step 7 example

Step 7 example

Step 7 example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Continue applying colors to the different shapes that you created in your abstract composition.

Step 8 example

Step 8 example

Step 8 example

Step 8 example

Step 8 example

Step 8 example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Once you have filled your styrofoam plate and transferred the colors, cut the cardstock along the fold. Now it’s time to label your monoprint. On the lower left side give your print a title; it could be something about the room or maybe something that you would like the viewer to focus on in your print. In the center below your print, write “1/1″ because you only have one print. On the right side, sign your name because you are the artist!

Step 9 example

Step 9 example

My Art Room Monoprint, Print: Julia Kron

My Art Room Monoprint, Print: Julia Kron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. You have successfully completed your first print! Feel free to get a damp paper towel and wipe off the colors if you would like to create another monoprint on a new piece of cardstock paper.

Tune in regularly for another great art activity inspired by The Phillips Collection!

Julia Kron, K12 Education Intern