Friday, March 17, 2017

ELMAC intern Cristal Lugo engages students in Detroit art scene


Cristal Lugo with art

Two abstracted figures, one male and one female, look out at the viewer with large smiles against a tan background filled with swirling lines. The face and eyes of each figure are outlined in thick green, the mouths in thick yellow. Purple “tears” drip down the face of the male figure and upwards on the female figure.

The painting by Tyree Guyton is called Ups and Downs. Students from Mitchell Elementary School saw this piece while on a field trip to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Guyton is an artist from Detroit and creator of the Heidelberg Project. He creates beautiful art from trash and abandoned houses in his neighborhood. Since he is a local black artist and it was black history month, ELMAC intern Cristal Lugo, used the opportunity to teach her students about his life and art.

Lugo did an interactive read aloud of Magic Trash, showed the students pictures of his art, and collected boxes so they could create "houses" inspired by his art. The students loved creating their art pieces and were inspired by one of the houses he painted called Dotty Wotty. After the students finished their art, Lugo took a photo of their creations so that Guyton could see how his life story and creations inspired the class.

Lugo went to an event at the Heidelberg neighborhood to personally show Guyton what the students had made. He was so impressed that he wants two pieces of the students' art at the Heidelberg Project. He also signed two copies of his book: one copy is a gift for the class to keep and the other copy is for Ms. Lugo’s future classroom.

See Tyree Guyton’s message to the students in Cristal Lugo’s class.

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