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Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Bringing Delaney Home" at the Knoxville Museum of Art

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a pilot project inspired by Beauford's art and life called Bringing Beauford Delaney Home. It was conducted at West View Elementary School in Knoxville, TN.

The Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) is currently displaying the artwork created by the students who participated in that project as part of its Celebrate School Art Programs.

Hanging the students' art
Image courtesy of the Knoxville Museum of Art

Information panel
Image courtesy of the Knoxville Museum of Art

The information panel for the exhibition reads as follows (text reproduced with the permission of the museum):

The summer exhibition features West View Elementary students in the grade K-5. This art exhibition at KMA highlights the fundamental importance of the arts in the school curricula, an essential component to the healthy development and complete education of our young people.

Through a partnership with The Great Schools Partnership Community Schools Program, Knoxville Chapter of the Links, Inc., and the KMA, students at West View Elementary were able to spend six weeks learning about Beauford Delaney, one of Knoxville's greatest abstract painters of the 20th century.

The students studied the use of bold bright colors, and the color "yellow" one of Delaney's favorite colors. The students self-portraits are inspired by Beauford's yellow portraits.

Student self-portraits
Image courtesy of the Knoxville Museum of Art

The students also studied Beauford's abstract paintings from Paris, which inspired them to create abstract collages pieced together from many other abstract paintings they created.

Student abstracts
Image courtesy of the Knoxville Museum of Art

The large mixed-media piece is a collaborative painting made by all 26 students who participated in the Bringing Delaney Home project.

Collaborative student abstract
Image courtesy of the Knoxville Museum of Art

The students began the project knowing little or nothing about Beauford Delaney, but are now big fans of his artworks and are willing to share their new knowledge. On the learning expedition to the KMA, the students were excited to finally see the original work created by Delaney in person.

Bringing Delaney Home will hang in KMA's Education Gallery until June 30, 2017.

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