There is much more to Black history than civil rights activists and inventors. This project explores the cultural contributions of African American artist, Beverly Buchanan, and gives you the opportunity to make your own artwork inspired by her! Beverly Buchanan was born in Fuquay, North Carolina, but grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She is best known for her shack structures which explore the Southern vernacular through architecture.
In this Staff Pick, Curatorial Assistant Ben French talks about how artist Beverly Buchanan creates her work to reflect everyday life, such as her piece "Sculpture House," 2011 in The Columbus Museum's permanent collection.
“I’m interested in their shapes and how they’re made and how they reflect the people who built them. I consider my shacks portraits. It’s the spirit that comes through the forms.”
For this project you will be using a 9 x12 sheet of colored paper, paint (optional), oil pastels, crayons, colored pencils and/or markers, glue, wooden craft sticks and paper/fabric scraps to create your own Shack Portrait.
Step 1: Choose what color paper you would like to use.
Step 2: Brainstorm the design of your shack. What do you want it to look like? Do you want to show it from a side view or just the front?
Step 3: Next, think about the background of your portrait. Do you want it to be an abstract mix of colors? Or would you like a landscape surrounding your shack; trees, flowers, the sun or moon, clouds, and birds?
Step 4: Once you have finished your brainstorming and decided on how you would like to depict your shack and what other aspects you would like to include in your portrait you can begin putting your ideas on paper.
Step 5: If you are using crafts sticks and would like to add color to them I suggest painting them first. (You can also use markers to color them.)
Step 6: Once your craft sticks are ready you can glue them to your paper to make the frame of your shack. You may have to brake some of them into smaller piece to fit the design of your shack.
Step 7: After you have the frame of your shack you can use your other art materials to add details to your shack, background and/or the landscape of your portrait!
* Remember, as with any art project, you can use these instructions as inspiration and use your creativity to make whatever you would like! *
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