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Kehinde Wiley Inspired Lesson Plan: The Power of a Portrait Project

St. Croix Educational Complex High School students created two large-scale paintings inspired by Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary African American artist. Wiley explores Power, race, and identity issues by exploring portraiture. Wiley’s portraits depict everyday people he meets on the streets. His artwork references artwork created by older European masters, thereby encouraging the viewer to contemplate the role of identity and Power in portraiture. By utilizing Wiley’s approach to art-making as a starting point, students created two 8ft by 4ft portraits of actual student models. Early adolescence is a time that is overwhelmed with change: physical, mental, social, intellectual, and emotional. While this age group can be very egocentric, they are also highly influenced by how the rest of the world perceives them. We encourage spectators to become a part of the creative space by holding a decorative frame while posing beside each painting, then share #scechspoweroftheportrait on the social media platforms Power of a Portrait Project St. Croix.

SCECHS student model Gelysia Anderson

The project began in 2020 with SCECHS Advanced Art

students. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was completed during the summer of 2021 by VIDE Fine Arts Summer Academy students.

SCECHS Fine Arts Educator Contributors

Danica David

Dwydale Dariah

2020 SCECHS Student Contributors

Gelysia Anderson

Symone Carter

Era Daniel

Kervon Flavius

Kayniah Florence

Jaquan Hughes

John Parrilla

Sofia Sargeant

2021 VIDE Fine Arts Summer Academy Contributors

Solanj Cornelius

Zakiya Encarnacion

Earnest Jackson III

Karim Henry

Gabriella Alexander

LaRysha Bedford

Ivan Rojas

Arielle Orendain


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