Submitted by: Grace Hall, Bogalusa High School (Now teaching at Abney Elementary Parish School - Grades K-3) UNIT: Painting- Art of Mexico Lesson: Amate Bark Paintings/Folk Arts of Latin America Grade Level: middle school through high school (6 -12)
This lesson will focus on Amate Bark Paintings one of the many Folk Arts of the Latin American Culture. Students will explore the history of bark paintings in South America as well as the purpose, processes, and symbolism found in typical bark paintings. Using the Internet, students will explore and research the creation of Bark paintings in Latin America. Students will follow up by producing their own version of an Amate Bark Painting and participate in a critique to complete the lesson.
Social Studies : Geography: Physical and Cultural Systems
Students develop a spatial understanding of Earth's surface and the processes that shape it, the connections between people and places, and the relationship between man and his environment.
Foreign Language : Comparison: Concept of Culture
Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
Approximate Duration: 2-4 ninety minute class periods
Students develop creative expression through the application of knowledge, ideas, communication skills, organization abilities and imagination.
Students develop aesthetic perception through the knowledge of art forms and respect for commonalties and differences.
Historical and Cultural
Students develop historical perspective and cultural perception by recognizing and understanding that the arts throughout history are a record of human experience with a past, present, and future.
Students make informed oral and written observations about the arts by developing skills for critical analysis through the study of and exposure to the arts.
Demonstrate art methods and techniques in visual representations based on research of imagery;
Produce a visual representation of ideas derived through the study of various cultures, disciplines, and art careers;
Identify and explore the meaning of art and the role of artists in their culture and environment;
Analyze unique characteristics of art as it reflects the quality of everyday life in various cultures;
Recognize and classify works of art by their style, theme, time period, and culture;
Categorize specific styles and periods of art as they relate to various cultural, political, and economic conditions;
Classify the style, period, media, and culture in works of art;
Analyze how specific works are created and how they relate to cultures and to historical periods;
Educational Technology Standards:
Use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, writing tools, digital cameras, drawing tools, web tools) to gather information for problem solving, communication, collaborative writing and publishing to create products for various audiences.
Understand Internet concepts (e.g., website, hypertext link, bookmarks, URL addresses) and apply intermediate on-line searching techniques (e.g., employ keyword, phrases, and Boolean Operators).
Use appropriate technology to locate, retrieve, organize, analyze, evaluate, and communicate information for problem solving and decision making.
The learner will:
1. apply research skills using the Internet to explore the history of Amate Bark Paintings.
2. analyze unique characteristics and styles used by the artists of Latin America while exploring the examples of Bark Paintings found on the Internet.
3. demonstrate knowledge of Amate Bark Painting processes by simulating the color and texture of the Amate paper in the creation of his/her work of art.
4. produce a visual representation of an Amate Bark Painting using similar colors, symbols, and subject matter.
5. evaluate his/her Amate Bark Painting and those made by other students by participating in a class critique of the completed projects.
6. use a digital camera or scanner to make a digital copy of the artwork to be downloaded to Artsonia's educational website (or school website)
Amate Bark Painting video shows finished bark paintings followed by Papel Amate - Video in Spanish shows the making of Amate Paper and creating patterns. Immediately following the video a new video, Elaboracion del Papel Amate, shows more Amate.
Bark Amate Paper, San pablito, Puebla, México - This video shows beautiful Amate paintings. Also see the Amate Youtube Channel for more videos.
Students should know basic drawing and painting procedures, as well as the basic computer operations of research using the Internet. This lesson provides a source of enrichment to the study of Latin American Culture and Art.
Bark paper or papal Amate, is produced by hand in the state of Puebla by Otomi Indians (Archive) using bark from the mulberry or
fig trees. The mulberry tree creates off-white paper, while the fig tree creates much darker paper. The bark is washed, boiled and laid in lines on a wooden board. The fibers are then beaten with stone until they fuse together.
The paper finds it's way to the Nahua Indians of Southern Mexico who have excelled for several generations at painting bright village and wildlife scenes on the hand-made paper.
Much of the Amate paper goes to villages in the state of Guerrero where artisans who once decorated pottery, now paint imaginative scenes of everyday life, fanciful birds, animals and flowers on this special paper. Bright florescent colors are usually used, especially white, to produce amazing contrast against the bark paper. Such paintings of varying quality are produced in abundance for the tourist trade. Some works are signed and occasionally a gifted artist may gain considerable recognition for his work.
Amate Bark Paper
I've included the basic background information on Bark Painting to give an idea of what it's all about, however I strongly recommend the teacher do some research to build his/her own knowledge base on this art form.
1. Introduce Amate Bark painting by showing an example (if possible) of an original bark painting produced in Mexico. Explain the history and the process of making the paper and the stylized painting traditionally done on the paper (this information may be found in the Background Information stated above).
2. Use the audio visual program, "Gente del Sol" from Crizmac to reinforce the introduction and build on their knowledge of Bark Painting. This program provides a video tape about the artform along with printed material that could be used as a resource for the introduction.
3. Use the Internet to research a variety of sites on the web that show examples of paintings done by local Mexican artists. Use the websites included in this lesson, and use search engines to search for more sources. Ask students if they notice things all the paintings have in common such as the use of a border, stylized designs, and the subject matter traditionally used. Point out the stylized animals and plants, the use of colorful paint, the use of white to produce more contrast, and the black outlines used in most traditional bark paintings.
4. To create a simulated bark paper, have students crumple up brown paper. You could use paper bags, craft paper, or heavy brown paper produced by most paper mills. Dilute some India Ink with water (1/8 ink - 7/8 water) and have students paint the ink wash on the crumpled paper. The crumpling produces creases, which traps the diluted India Ink, thus producing a texture similar to actual bark paper. Students should lay the paper out on some newspaper, as flat as possible to paint the ink wash on, using foam paint brushes. Allow to dry thoroughly before moving to the next step. Iron paper when dry.
5. Draw the design out in chalk before painting. Mistakes wipe away easily. Use stylized designs and decorative borders similar to that of the original bark paintings, or allow students to create original subject matter depicting some event in their lives.
6. Tempera paint is best because of the flat finish it produces on the paper; however, almost any colorful media such as acrylic or oil pastel would work fine. Use florescent paint or the brightest colors available but definitely use white. You may also use white to brighten up spaces before applying the color, for example pink shows up better on the paper if there is a coat of white behind it.
7. When the painting is completely dry, use black markers to outline the shapes in the design.
8. Upon completion of the projects, display them together where students can gather around for a class critique discussion. Give each student the Student/Teacher Evaluation Rubric to do a self evaluation and prepare for the critique session.
9. Begin the critique session with a review of Amate Bark Painting content and processes and ask students if they feel they were successful in creating Bark Paintings that reflect the Latin American Culture. Responses will vary, ask students to support their answers with an explanation.
Ask for volunteers to talk about their project or call on individuals if they are shy. Ask each student to explain the meaning of the subject they portray in their painting and why they chose it. Then, use the student/teacher evaluation rubric located in the Reproducible Materials section to ask other questions about the content and quality of the work.
Following the critique, collect the student/teacher evaluation rubrics to use to score each project for a grade. I like for my students to fill out the evaluation/rubric in black or blue ink for their self-evaluation and my evaluation is in red ink. Return the student/teacher evaluations to students, and have them reflect and make comments on the evaluations before placing them in their portfolio folder.
10. At the completion of the lesson, use a scanner or digital camera to make a digital copy of the artwork to download to the Artsonia web site at http://www.artsonia.com. This will allow students to share their accomplishments with family, friends, and other students around the world.
Student/Teacher Evaluation Rubric:
Have students fill out the rubric themselves as a self-evaluation. Also allow students to use it as a reference during the class critique discussion to help them prepare to tell about their work.
Class Critique Discussion:
Display completed Bark Paintings together and gather students around to discuss the merit of the projects.
Begin by asking students if they feel they were successful in creating Bark Paintings that reflect the Latin American Culture. Responses will vary, ask students to support their answers with an explanation.
Ask for volunteers to talk about their project or call on individuals if they are shy. Ask each student to explain the meaning of the subject they portray in their painting and why they chose it. Then, use the rubric to ask other questions about the content and quality of the work.
Following the critique, collect the rubrics to use to score each project for a grade. I like for my students to fill out the rubric in black or blue ink for their self evaluation and my evaluation is in red ink.
1. Allow students who require modifications to work with a partner or in groups when doing the Internet research.
2. Provide as many visuals as possible such as authentic Amate Bark Paintings, books, prints, and slides to support the visual learners.
Explorations and Extensions:
1. During the research of Amate Bark Paintings have students use their sketch books to record ideas for the subject of their design.
2. Define vocabulary words and create a crossword puzzle to reinforce or assess.
3. Research a Bark Painting artist on the Internet to find out what motivates him or her, what kinds of symbols they use, and where they are located. Have students report their findings to their classmates.
4. Students could use Adobe Photoshop or Paint to create a digital bark painting.
This is a lesson my students enjoyed doing very much. They produced some awesome examples that we are all very proud of. Several of their bark paintings were framed and entered in different competitions. A large number of examples were posted on Artsonia.com.
Although Grace taught this lesson to high school students, it is also appropriate for middle school students as it has been copied and taught by a 7th grade art teacher.