I started teaching at my current school in February 2021. Because I was a new teacher starting mid-year and I wanted to get to know my students, our first project was a self-portrait lesson. We looked at Kehinde Wiley’s art and compared old, neoclassical art with Wiley’s updated versions of these artworks. We also discussed patterns, colors, and representation in art and throughout art history.

Students then created their own versions of a self-portrait with their own patterns and designs in the background.

Here are some of the self-portraits made by my students:

For the future, I would also include an alternative assignment where students can create an indirect self-portrait. Students can choose an object that means something to them (for example, a toy, a book, clothing, etc.) and draw that object.

For example, I did an indirect self-portrait in college of a scarf because I am known for always wearing scarves:

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