Reflections in the Mirror
examines identity through the creation of two contrasting forms of visual expression- visual journal and mural. The unit was written for middle school students, but is adaptable for younger or older students. It is designed to take place in an art studio, but a variety of educational settings are appropriate. The catalyst for this exploration is two twentieth century artists of Mexico, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Kahlo and Rivera offer contrasting approaches to the expression of identity. Their work provides a glimpse into individual identity in relation to society as well as the forming of the modern Mexican identity. Kahlo and Rivera guide and inform this unit in two ways- through mode of art production and art work. Student art activities follow the form and content of Kahlo's diary and the making of a mural. One key work by Kahlo and Rivera is examined in depth. By looking at the art of Kahlo and Rivera and experiencing their mode of expression, students will visually investigate topics of Kahlo's and Rivera's identity and their own. The activities provide a means for reflecting upon and expressing the private side of self identity as well as the public persona.
(Recommended for Art, Language Arts and English, grades K-12.)