Hillsboro High School, Hillsboro, Oregon
Cynthia Schubert teaches at Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Oregon, just outside of Portland. She teaches Art 1, an exploratory introduction to studio art; Art 2, which serves as a foundations studio class; calligraphy; as well as Standard Level and Higher Level of the International Baccalaureate in Visual Art. Cynthia is also a participant in the 2010-2011 Art21 Educators program.
I have used William Kentridge’s work specifically in my International Baccalaureate art classes. Students viewed the first two chapters of William Kentridge: Anything is Possible and discussed his animated film Sobriety, Obesity and Growing Old (1991). The lush layers of charcoal inscribed with fleeting ghosts of former drawings, in connection with his experiences and family history that influences his work, help to tell a bigger story of South Africa. These visually stunning films are rich resources not only because of the social content and narrative, but also because they challenge my students to consider how to use media in non-conventional ways.
After watching and discussing this part of the film, we explored visualizing ideas such as disintegrating friendships, uncertainty, a kiss, etc. I wanted to challenge my students to break away from cliché imagery. I used Kentridge’s film to encourage students to use charcoal in a very rich, layered way and then had them photocopy, redraw, and deconstruct the original images. They used collage, juxtaposing found images with the charcoal drawings and also explored the use of found surfaces and textures, such as book pages and newspaper. I also used Kentridge’s book, Trace: Prints from the Museum of Modern Art, to explore ways to layer and to tell a story without cliché.