Dispatches: Responding to Jacob Lawrence in Lahore

Read Rachel’s first post in her series about teaching art workshops in Pakistan here. You can follow her on Twitter  @EducatorRachel and also on Instagram.

Art students in Lahore respond to Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series.

Art students in Lahore respond to Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series. Photos: Rachel Goldberg

Yesterday I facilitated the first in a series of workshops I’ll be doing here in Lahore. I introduced a group of 50 art students from four local universities to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series (1940-1941), and we discussed how art can be a vehicle for telling stories and creating social change. I challenged the artists to choose one of Lawrence’s panels (I brought life-sized color reproductions with me) and to create their own work in response to it. Students used very basic materials (tempera paint, pencils, and paper collage materials) to create some spectacular art!

Working with the U.S. Department of State, I’ll lead two-day intensive workshops in Lahore and Islamabad for 100 emerging artists from across Pakistan. I’ll also conduct workshops and discussions with curators, gallery owners, and arts educators to further build capacity for artistic endeavors in Pakistan.

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach, and Family Programs

Congenial Spirits: Mpane and Lawrence

We have been eager to see Aimé Mpane’s Mapasa (Twins) hanging in the galleries ever since bringing it home from (e)merge art fair this fall. Mpane’s brilliantly hued diptych is now on view upstairs in the original Phillips house, where it sparks a complex dialogue with Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series.

(left) Aimé Mpane, Mapasa (Twins), 2012. Acrylic and mixed media on two wooden panels, each panel: 12 1/2 in x 12 in.  The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired with The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Award, 2012. (right) Panels from Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series, 1940-41. Photo: Joshua Navarro

(left) Aimé Mpane, Mapasa (Twins), 2012. Acrylic and mixed media on two wooden panels, each panel: 12 1/2 in x 12 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired with The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Award, 2012. (right) Panels from Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series, 1940-41. Photo: Joshua Navarro

A closer view of Mpane's work.

A closer view of Mpane’s work.

Hip Hop N’ Ya Don’t Stop: Jacob Lawrence Inspires A Rap

Students from Takoma Educational Center, three in Harlem Renaissance-style costume, look at work by classmates based on Jacob Lawrence's The Migration Series. Photo: James R. Brantley

Working with a work of art like Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series as often as I do, it is easy to become jaded by what truly is a masterpiece of American art. Countless school tours, in-classroom workshops, reading and re-reading our dense teaching kit, sharing the same stories of its inception and creation would make any museum educator tire of the series. However, last week’s Community Celebration with the middle schoolers of Takoma Education Campus  illustrates how no matter how many tours I give, I will always be inspired by The Migration Series and the way it connects with people of all ages. Continue reading “Hip Hop N’ Ya Don’t Stop: Jacob Lawrence Inspires A Rap” »