Sgraffito Masks
December 06, 2018

Sgraffito Masks

As part of a schoolwide initiative to study western Africa, I wanted to plan an exploration of African masks that not only highlighted the variety and beauty of the art form, but also opened my students’ eyes to the perspectives and experiences of the African people. Unlike the art of the West, African art is […]

Resist Fabric Dyeing Inspired by ‘Black Panther’
November 07, 2018

Resist Fabric Dyeing Inspired by ‘Black Panther’

This lesson began in Wakanda. Yes, the fictional Wakanda from the block-buster film, Black Panther. My students were fascinated with the movie, some even seeing it several times in the theater. It was the perfect prompt for us to view and discuss African art. This lesson was part of a larger unit on African art […]

Mère du Senegal, Loïs Mailou Jones
February 10, 2016

Mère du Senegal, Loïs Mailou Jones

DETAIL: Loïs Mailou Jones (American; 1905–1998). Mère du Senegal, 1985. Acrylic; 24″ x 36″. Courtesy of the Loïs Mailou Jones Pierre-Noël Trust. Women Artists ABOUT THE ARTIST In her 1989 Callaloo interview, Loïs Mailou Jones reflected on the seeds of a career that would span seven decades: “Well, I began with art at a very early […]

African Masks
December 10, 2015

African Masks

Culture plays an important role in all aspects of art history—defining the era, enhancing techniques, and representing a meaning all its own. African cultures exhibit unique, exquisite masks with various meanings. The bold abstract designs of African tribal masks have geometrical, as well as symmetrical patterns, which depict the social status, and/or magical or religious […]