Art Masterpiece Project Procedure Form

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1 Art Masterpiece Project Procedure Form Artist: Name of Print: Project: Objective: Description: Diego Rivera Mother s Helper Mural of Moms Drawing from memory and depicting characteristic features Talk with the students about how their mothers look, what s typical of them, favorite things they like to do, favorite clothing and why they are special. In advance, cut white butcher paper in to inches in width so that you have large rectangle pieces of paper. Give each student a piece of paper and have him or her draw with colored pencils, their mothers from heads to toe filling the whole length of the paper. Encourage the students to depict their moms in their favorite outfit or with an item in their hands that shows their favorite thing to do. Have them show a motherly compassion in their moms faces. The students are always excited to draw their mothers, as this is someone they are passionate about. When finished, have them cut out their moms, (make sure their names are on the back) and place on pre-cut murals size piece of butcher paper taped to the blackboard in the front of the room. Assist them in placing them creatively so that all the moms will fit and there are no empty spaces (overlapping is fine and will look more like a mural). Let them know that you will be displaying the mural for the upcoming Muffins for Moms event in the Multi-Purpose Room and to be sure to show their moms on that day. Suggestions: This can be a sensitive subject for some students. Please check with your teacher about any children who do not have mothers to draw and adjust your wording. You can include grandmothers, aunts, fathers or whatever the situation calls for. Supplies: Butcher Paper (15-18 ) Colored Pencils Tape and Glue

2 Diego Rivera Rivera was born December 13, 1886 in Guanajuato, Mexico, which was a well known silver mining town in central Mexico. Diego was born a twin, his brother Carlos died when he was two years old. Both of his parents were school teachers. By the age of two he was already drawing and his father set up a studio for him even before he could read. By the age of ten he had decided to become and artist and by the age of 11 years old he began taking evening classes at the National School of Art in Mexico City. At his fathers request he enrolled in the Military College and this latest only two weeks. When Rivera was 12 years old he enrolled in regular classes at the academy and began studying more detail in art. His teachers included many famous 19 th century Mexican Artists. However, Diego said he learned about the art of his own country from a teacher he found himself, Jose Posada. Posada owned a small printing shop bear the academy that Diego attended and he would often stop to watch Jose working on his drawings and prints. Diego thought these drawings were so full of life and energy that hey might jump off the paper at any moment. He developed a great love for Pre-Columbian art as a young boy in Mexico. This is the art of the Indians who were in Mexico before the Spaniards arrived. At the age of 16 he ventured into the Mexican countryside to seek his artistic fortune. He painted pictures of houses, churches, streets, Indians and volcanoes all of which were a part of the unique beauty of Mexico. But he was

3 not content, he became restless and dissatisfied with his work and felt that there was more to being a painter than he had so far mastered. His father was at that time an inspector in the National Department of Public Health, a job that took him to many parts of Mexico. During one of his trips to the state of Vera Cruz, he showed the governor some of his son s paintings. The governor was so impressed that when he met with Diego he awarded him a small scholarship and said that he showed a lot of promise and that he would be an honor to his country. With the money he received he went to Spain to study with the Spanish artists who were well known at the time. He also copied the masterworks of some of the great Spanish painters that hung in the Prado Museum. After 3 years in Spain he decided to move to Paris to continue his work with art. In Paris he studied at the Louvre and at various academies. He showed his work at different exhibits. All together he spent about 15 years in Europe. He was acquainted with the different artists who were painting in Europe at the time. He knew Picasso, Chagall, Cezanne and many others. While in Europe he adapted his style of painting to that of the newer painters who called themselves Cubists who as whole appeared to take apart their subjects and create new objects of their own creation. He would become a part of this movement for over ten years. Yet he still felt that something was missing and absent from his work. His paintings could only be enjoyed by well educated people who could afford to buy them for their homes.

4 He felt and thought that art should be enjoyed by everyone, especially the poor, working people. Even as he was in Europe, he was still very concerned about his native land. He felt that isolated from his country and began to develop a deeper understanding of the folk art and ancient masterpieces of his native land. In 1920 he decided to return to help create a new art for a new country. There was a new government and a call for a Mexican Renaissance. Rivera s first assignment was to decorate the walls of the Ministry of Public Education in Mexico City. Because of his study of the old masters Rivera decided to use the methods of frescos, they satisfied the need for a popular art capable of appealing to the masses, telling them a story. To create the big murals Rivera would first do full size cartoons and then sketch it on the wall. Rivera painted more than two and a half miles of murals in his lifetime. One group of murals he painted took more than four years to complete, working eight to fifteen hours at a stretch it was done on a building three stories high, two city blocks long and on block wide, when he was finished it was a series of 124 frescoes done on the courtyard walls of the Ministry of Public Education. Rivera did do easel works, which he only did to supplement his passion for mural work and is said to have sold his easel works to American tourists, however, he is best known for his murals. A great number of his murals and painting can be found in Mexico City. He did do some murals in the U.S. in San

5 Francisco, Detroit and New York. His mural at the California School of Fine Arts was originally commissioned to be 120 feet but once he was done is was over 1,200 square feet, he did this all for the original amount of the contract even though it was ten times more than was agreed upon. In 1933 he was commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller to do a mural at the Radio Corporation Arts building in Rockefeller center and it became a very controversial mural due to the fact that he included the face of the Russian revolutionary leader Lenin in the mural. After this mural he went on to paint his Portrait of America murals in New Workers School in New York City. The work symbolized the heroes of American history and included such figures as Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, Emerson and Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and John Brown. It is said that there is no example that comes anywhere near giving so complete and penetrating a portrayal of our people, our history and our land, not even by an American painter. Rivera was married a total of three times. His most publicized marriage was to his second wife Frida Kahlo. She was also a well known artist in Mexico. They both drew crowds wherever they went. They divorced in 1939 only to remarry in She died in 1954 and he on November 24, 1957.

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