Category Archives: Arts

Frida Kahlo’s U.S. Exhibit: “Appearances Can Be Deceiving”

“Frida Kahlo’s exhaustively documented crossover from artist to pop culture icon isn’t happenstance. The artist meticulously built her own image. A sweeping survey at the Brooklyn Museum examines how she did it, and why.” R. Kleinman, The New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Frida in New York City– by Nickolas Muray, 1946, printed 2006.

Excerpt: Frida Kahlo Was a Painter, a Brand Builder, a Survivor, And So Much More, By Rebecca Kleinman, The New York Times

“The painter meticulously crafted her own image on a par with Cleopatra…Now it’s America’s turn to see how, and, more important, why she did it. Some of the contents of the home she shared with her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera — known as La Casa Azul (Blue House) in Mexico City — will be accessible for the first time in the United States in ‘Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving,’ an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, from Feb. 8 to May 12.

Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States (1932)

Their belongings were to be locked away until 15 years after Rivera’s death, according to his instructions, but the task of unsealing and inventorying them didn’t happen until much later, in 2004. This is the biggest stateside show devoted to Kahlo and a considerably expanded iteration of last year’s exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London…Neither her disabilities from polio and a bus accident, nor her frequent relapses of pain deterred Kahlo.

A plaster corset, painted and decorated by Frida Kahlo, from Museo Frida Kahlo.

By the time she died at the age of 47 in 1954, she left behind a public persona that is still being mined well into the 21st century; today she has more than 800,000 Instagram followers. ‘People have an insatiable curiosity with her, and this presentation is a rare opportunity to see how she built her identity,’ said Catherine Morris, a senior curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art who organized the Brooklyn Museum’s version of the show with Lisa Small, senior curator of European Art.

The exhibition includes her daily beauty products such as Revlon’s Everything’s Rosy lipstick, 1944-54.

Viewing Kahlo’s beauty products brings to mind a child’s sense of wonder with a mother’s dressing table. There’s an aura in the presence of her actual things that you just can’t experience through media and Instagram, Ms. Morris said of Kahlo’s eyebrow pencil, Pond’s Dry Face Cream, and red lipstick and vibrant nail polishes from Revlon, a favorite brand.

‘A mastermind at using fashion to her advantage, Kahlo delivered red-carpet moments wherever she went. She even dressed that way to work in her studio,’  Ms. Small said. 

Cotton huipil with chain-stitch embroidery; cotton skirt with printed floral motifs. NYT

Vogue magazine took notice. Kahlo championed her homeland’s indigenous customs in wearing huipiles (woven tunics), rebozos (shawls) and flouncy, long skirts. They also drew attention away from her polio-ravaged right leg and body casts from several operations after her near-fatal bus accident. She frequently referred to herself as the great concealer.

Self-Portrait With Monkeys, 1943, oil on canvas.NYT

Besides its feminine allure, jewelry struck a more personal chord for Kahlo. Like her intricate updos embellished with hair ornaments and blossoms, chandelier earrings and bold necklaces drew onlookers’ focus to her face… Animals graced her work, and she had a mini-menagerie at La Casa Azul. There was a chaotic array of dogs — she adored the hairless variety of Xoloitzcuintli, an ancient breed — as well as monkeys, exotic birds and a deer named Granizo roaming about.

The hand earring that she wears in a couple of her portraits was given to her by Pablo Picasso. nimzu.be

Comfort with cross-dressing came early on… For ‘Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair,’ in 1940, with scissors and musical notes, she returns to men’s wear with a baggy suit like those worn by her ex-husband.  Shorn in spite, her cropped cut re-establishes her independence. ‘People are very interested in the fact that she had relationships with women, but there’s only one known reference where she actually spoke about it,’ Ms. Morris said.

Kahlo’s Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair

Kahlo suffered extensively for much of her life, and the most moving section of the show is devoted to her ecosystem of medical devices… Kahlo’s right leg was amputated the year before she died in 1954. People have described her as broken and fragile, but she was strong and accomplished a tremendous amount in her lifetime.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities 

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Frida Kahlo made a crossover from artist to pop culture icon.
  2. Her husband was the famous muralist Diego Rivera.
  3. Kahlo’s works were culled from the museum’s vault in London.
  4. Her disabilities from polio and a bus accident failed to deter Kahlo from her work.
  5. People have an insatiable curiosity with her.
  6. Her ethnic ensembles were inspired by Oaxaca’s Tehuana society.
  7. Besides its feminine allure, jewelry struck a more personal chord for Kahlo.
  8. In one gallery, the curators set out to re-create the vibe of Kahlo and Rivera’s home.
  9. Frida Kahlo owned a mini-menagerie.
  10. Kahlo was both dazzled and disgusted by New York City.

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

Directions: The following sentences are from the news article.  For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices listed. Note that not all prepositions listed are in the article.

Prepositions:  in, for, of, with, by,  on, at, to, as, into, across, around, over,  through, from, during, up, off,

They were also another vehicle ___her___ express her passion___Mexican crafts including contemporary silver jewelry and native materials like jade, favored___ the ancient Maya. She most commonly wore gold rope necklaces and Mesoamerican jade stones, which she’d string ___extraordinarily chunky necklaces,

Reading Comprehension: True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading.  If  a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer. 

  1. Frida Kahlo crafted her own image with that of  Nefertiti.
  2. She shared a home with her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera.
  3. Two features Kahlo was known for were her beard and unibrow.
  4. Kahlo’s home La Casa Azul (Blue House) is located in Mexico City.
  5. The Frida Kahlo exhibit will be presented at  the Manhattan Museum.
  6. Frida Kahlo and her husband wanted to have many children.
  7. The last exhibit on Kahlo was held last year at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
  8. Frida’s mother taught her to be polite when she was young. NA
  9. Vogue magazine took notice of Frida Kahlo’s fashion style.
  10. Frida Kahlo had a mini-menagerie at La Casa Azul.

III. Post Reading Activities

Discussion Questions for Comprehension

  1. Why do you think the name of the exhibit is  Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving? 
  2. The article states that Viewing Kahlo’s beauty products brings to mind a child’s sense of wonder with a mother’s dressing table.” In your opinion are Frida’s beauty products an important part of the exhibit?  Why or why not?
  3. It is stated that Frida “frequently referred to herself as the great concealer.” Why was this?
  4. Write  three questions  you would like to ask Frida Kahlo or anyone else mentioned in the article. Share your questions with the class.

 

Art Projects

Directions: In groups have members view the paintings by Frida Kahlo.  Each group writes a paragraph or two explaining what they think the paintings mean; paint their own self-portraits using a mirror; paint a mural  that includes items that are important to them (e.g., their country’s flag, fashion, favorite personal items, etc.)

ANSWER KEY

The World of Art and Politics

“Somewhere along the I-95 in Philadelphia, a billboard spells out two words in Trump’s campaign font: Pardon Me. This is just one of the challenging artist-designed billboards that have gone up across the US this week as part of the 50 State Initiative, arguably the country’s largest public art project. The crowdfunded spectacle allows artists to have their say – and perhaps their influence – ahead of the midterm elections.” N.Sayei, The Guardian

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Zoë Buckman – Grab ’Em by the Ballots in upstate New York. Photograph- LightWork : For Freedoms

Excerpt: ‘All art is political’: behind America’s most ambitious public art project ever By Nadja Sayei, The Guardian

‘One guy wrote us and said: ‘I see this ‘Pardon Me’ billboard every day on my way to work, can you tell me what this means?’ said Wyatt Gallery, the billboard director at For Freedoms, the New York organization behind the project. ‘He asked: ‘What side are you on? Are you pro-Trump or anti-Trump?’ People can’t figure out what side we’re on, or if there is a side. It makes people think more and to reach out and ask us.’

Christopher Myers – Mayflowers in Rockland. Photograph- Center For Maine Contemporary Art

The goal, according to the For Freedoms co-founder Eric Gottesman, is to make ‘anti-partisan’ statements on the billboards, alongside art exhibitions, installations and public programs to deepen what he calls ‘civic participation’.

Occupy.com

‘It’s not just voting, it’s about using our voices to speak up about the things we feel strongly about,’ said Gottesman. ‘We believe all art is political, so when artists get engaged, the conversation changes. It’s important for artists’ voices not to be marginalized or only to be seen in these elite institutions, but be more at the center of public life.’

Paula Crown – Hurt People Hurt People in Los Angeles. Photograph- Paula Goldman

Each billboard is emblazoned with the For Freedoms logo, which is how people find them online. ‘People look us up or call the billboard company to inquire what the billboards mean,’ said Gallery. ‘That’s a huge sign of success, that people are willing to take that step.’

THIS STORY HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN YET in Raleigh. Photograph- TianranQin : Jeffrey Gibson

Luis Jacob, a Canadian artist, is showing a billboard in Vermont entitled Land Acknowledgement, which reads Abenaki, the name of the tribe based in the region. ‘This piece engages the politics of indigenous land sovereignty on colonized territory,’ said Jacob, who teaches art at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Us Is Them with Wyatt Gallery, NewOrleans, LA, 2016. Photograph- Wyatt Gallery : For Freedoms

As a response to Jacob’s billboard, a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs contacted the artist. ‘He said he found the artistic concept behind the image compelling,’ said Jacob, ‘and hoped the project would help build connections between the Abenaki community, artists and institutions, such as VCFA, to improve relations.’

Sanford Biggers, Just Us (West Virginia). Photo courtesy of For Freedoms.

Truthout

Many of the billboards are along highways of rural areas. In a way, they catch people off guard while driving, often a time of solitude or reflection. But the billboards are intentionally timed to coincide with the midterm elections and ultimately, they could change the way Americans look at art, politics and the role of advertising in public space.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about political billboards. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

KWL Chart from Creately,com

 

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. This is America’s most ambitious public art project.
  2. The crowdfunded spectacle allows artists to have their say.and perhaps their influence.
  3. Each billboard is emblazoned with the For Freedoms logo.
  4. Some find the artistic concepts behind the images beautiful.
  5. The billboards are intentionally timed to coincide with the 2018 midterm elections.
  6. When artists get engaged, the conversation changes.
  7. It’s important for artists’ voices not to be marginalized.
  8. This piece engages the politics of indigenous land sovereignty.
  9. We want to add more nuance in the kind of conversation we have in public about these issues.
  10. People are taking notice as to what these billboards mean in the context of what’s happening today.

 

Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following sentences  taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

There are more than 50 ___designed by ___, which will be up through the end of November. More than 200___and 400 artists across the ___will be hosting talks, ___and exhibits related to ___art in ___with the organization.

WORD LIST:  institutions, political, partnership, billboards, country, projects,  artists,

 

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Some of the/them billboards are/is specific to/too certain cities. ‘Some artists felt/feeling like a certain part of the country wood/would make sense,’ said Gallery. ‘Others wanted/wants to be/being as close to the Mexican border as possible, or in/on certain regions. We tried to/two honor those wishes to create a/an dynamic conversation.’

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

  1. The article states, It’s not just voting, it’s about using our voices to speak up about the things we feel strongly about…We believe all art is political, so when artists get engaged, the conversation changes.” Do you agree that all art is political? Provide reasons for your answer.
  2. It also states, “People look us up or call the billboard company to inquire what the billboards mean,” said Gallery. “That’s a huge sign of success, that people are willing to take that step.” Explain why Gallery thinks this is a sign of success”
  3. Overall, are political billboards by artists helpful to potential voters? Provide reasons for your answer.

Group Projects

What’s The Message?

Directions: In groups, have students choose 3 or 4 of the billboard signs presented in the article. Then have them discuss what they think the message is for each billboard. Share answers with the class.

Create Your Own Billboards

Directions: In groups, have students create their own billboards on any topic they like. Group members may use the web for additional information. Have students draw and color their billboards. After, all billboards can be shared by the class or the school.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. 

ANSWER KEY

Artist Sargy Mann: Making Paintings Without Sight

“In the last weeks of his life, the artist Sargy Mann began writing about his extraordinary career as a blind painter. The last 10 years of his life, after his eyesight had failed completely, were paradoxically his most successful – his final exhibition opened in London this week, two months after his death. Here he reflects on the nature of perception and the visual experiences that continue after the loss of sight.” BBC

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Artist Sargy Mann

Artist Sargy Mann

Excerpt: Sargy Mann: How a blind painter sees-BBC

“…In October 1979 a retinal detachment rendered me quite blind in my right eye and then, shortly afterwards, the retina in my left eye detached. Throughout the 1980s I had numerous operations in my seeing left eye, always leaving me with less sight, worse sight, but – and this was what interested me – changed sight, so that after each convalescence, I had to learn again to see the world and to try to paint it.

Blind Artist Sargy Mann.

Blind Artist Sargy Mann.

In 1989, the eye hospital registered me blind, not partially sighted, but blind. I, on the other hand, on two or more occasions, went into the hospital announcing that I had located a tiny hole or tear in the extreme periphery of my retina.

Sargy Mann painting- Bristol Rooftops

Sargy Mann painting- Bristol Rooftops

In May 1990 we moved from London to Suffolk and I almost entirely gave up oil painting from direct observation. I simply couldn’t see and understand enough. Instead I painted, often on large 6ft-wide canvases, from short-term memory and tape recordings that I had made while looking at my subject, and asking questions of whoever might be around at the time.

Painter Sargy Mann recording of the subject on a dictaphone. Photo- BBC

Painter Sargy Mann recording of the subject on a dictaphone. Photo- BBC

Listening to my recording, brush in hand, in front of the painting, these two ways of looking resulted in very different marks on the painting…

Sargy Mann painting. cadogancontemporary.com

Sargy Mann painting. cadogancontemporary.com

Painter Sargy Mann (29 May 1937 – 5 April 2015)

Painter Sargy Mann (29 May 1937 – 5 April 2015)

Of course, I would never have chosen to become a blind painter but I have been thrilled to discover that I can make paintings without sight, and that this activity is far more like a continuation of my painting experience than I could possibly have imagined.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Mann had cataract extractions in both eyes.
  2. He discovered an astonishingly beautiful world.
  3. The memory stayed as a sort of talisman.
  4. Mann became interested in the anatomy of the eye.
  5. The ophthalmologists  were helpful.
  6. They cut away a lot of his iris.
  7. His brain adjusted to the much brighter level of ambient light.
  8. He never looked at the painting through the telescope.
  9. The painting looked extraordinary.
  10. There was two different ways of perceiving the art.
Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

Vocabulary Organizer by Against the Odds

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Mr. Mann had  a retinal detachment in October 2006.
  2. At age 35, he  had cataract extractions in both eyes.
  3. According to Mann, the only comparable experience was one involving  a car accident that  he had.
  4. In 2008 Mann  had  his first first one-man show.
  5. In 2004  the eye hospital registered him blind.
  6. Mann has three children who also paint.
  7. Mann had numerous operations throughout the 1700s.
  8. Terry Raybould was a painter friend.
  9. Mann’s final exhibition opened in Russia.
  10. Mann  painted  from short-term memory and tape recordings.

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. After one operation they cut away a lot of my iris.
  2. To began with I had to paint wearing dark glasses.
  3. I learned to adjust for different levels of ambient light.

II

  1. I had my first one-man show.
  2. I  had always preferred painting on bright light.
  3. I went to Portugal and southern India.

III

  1. I worked only through the telescope.
  2. I had occasionally used photomontages before.
  3. I had another exhibition, which also gone well.

III. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. The following  two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“Reasonably enough, people always want to know how I arrive at the color in my paintings when I can’t see at all. It is worth mentioning here that most people, I think, dream in full and perfect color. I certainly do, and when one is asleep one is perceptually blind, so the brain can do it – though God knows how.”

“I can imagine colour and colour combinations pretty well and I wonder, is it so very different from a composer or arranger of music working on manuscript paper… I cover the whole canvas from my imaginings, and my knowledge of my pigments and how they look in different combinations.”

Visual Creations Activity

Directions: Have students close their eyes and see if they can recreate various  paintings from memory. Have an art exhibit to show off each painting!

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about Sargy Mann from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Arts | Tags:

Frida Kahlo: The Original Selfie

“She was a genius…an ace manipulator of society and media nearly a century before social media came into existence. Born in 1907, dead at 47, Frida Kahlo achieved celebrity even in her brief lifetime that extended far beyond Mexico’s borders, although nothing like the cult status that would eventually make her the mother of the selfie, her indelible image recognizable everywhere.” G. Trebay, NYT

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Frida Kahlo-July 6 1907-July 13 1954

Frida Kahlo-July 6 1907-July 13 1954

Excerpt: Frida Kahlo Is Having a Moment by Guy Trebay,NYT

“Yet, despite the many biographies, documentaries and biopics, there remains much to learn about this often misunderstood artist… a proto-feminist who invested her art with an autobiography filled with struggle and pain. She was also an ardent Communist who sometimes fudged her date of birth to align with the start of the Mexican Revolution…In a welcome though unexpected convergence, an array of new books and exhibitions about Kahlo have suddenly appeared this spring, adding insight and depth to our understanding of a woman who would seem among the most overexposed artistic figures of all time.

Self-Portrait by Frida Kahlo.

Self-Portrait by Frida Kahlo.

While it seems clear that artists like Tracey Emin have fallen under the influence of her audacious self-disclosures; that designers — like Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier — have drawn inspiration from her style; and that entertainers like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé shrewdly adapted the lessons pioneered by a publicity-friendly solipsist who anticipated the Instagram era by many decades, Kahlo remains in some ways an enigma. In Mirror, Mirror, a portrait-survey that opens this month at Throckmorton Fine Art in Manhattan, Kahlo is revealed to have been an image wizard… Frida did not miss an opportunity to be photographed by anyone and everyone, said Norberto Rivera, the photography director at the gallery.

Kahlo painting portrait. Credit:rebelarte.livejournal

Kahlo painting portrait. Credit:rebelarte.livejournal

She created this image to hide the pain, referring to the lifelong aftereffects of severe injuries Kahlo suffered in a streetcar accident when she was 18. In under two decades, aided by a well-regarded biography and asoapy biopic, Kahlo had undergone transformation from a compelling cult figure to a universally recognized symbol of artistic triumph and feminist struggle. Somehow along the way she also became a centerpiece of a kitsch marketing bonanza.

Frida Kahlo-Self-Portrait 1930.

Frida Kahlo-Self-Portrait 1930.

The Fridamania that elevated Kahlo to near-mythic dimensions also transformed her — brooding gaze, elaborate Tehuana coiffures, signature mono-brow — into an image emblazoned on sneakers, T-shirts, tote bags, coasters, cosmetics, even tequila and beer. Unlike Che Guevara, who when he became a T-shirt and a poster was scarcely identifiable as the leader of the Cuban revolution… Frida Kahlo remains Frida Kahlo… there is little doubt Kahlo continues to exist as a potent figure of myth.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  Frida Kahlo.  Next, have students look at the pictures and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart for assistance.

Great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

Great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Despite the many biopics, kahlo is misunderstood.
  2. She was also an ardent Communist.
  3. She fudged her date of birth to align with the start of the Mexican Revolution.
  4. An array of new books about Kahlo have suddenly appeared.
  5. Artists have fallen under the influence of her audacious self-disclosures.
  6. Kahlo was a publicity-friendly solipsist.
  7. Kahlo anticipated the Instagram era.
  8. Kahlo suffered severe injuries a streetcar accident.
  9. The self-portraits unsparingly depict her physical travails.
  10. “Fridamania shows no signs of relenting.
ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

Reading Comprehension: Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

Fine/find catalogs accompany/accompanying each exhibition/exhibit add to an ever-expanding Kahlo literary/library, and yet in certain ways it is the newly published “Frida Kahlo: The Gisèle Freund Photographs,” that offers/off the most intimidate/intimate insights into her life and working process/progress. Its 100 rave/rare images document/documents a friendship that the Magnum photographer conduct/conducted with the couple in the last years/yearly before Kahlo’s death; both Kahlo and Rivera shine forth/fourth from these domestic images.

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Yet, despite the many biography there remains much to learn about this artist.
  2. She was an ardent Communist.
  3. Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier  have drawn inspiration from her style.

II

  1. Kahlo remains in some ways an enigma.
  2. Kahlo is revealed to have been an image wizard.
  3. Frida Kahlo’s fame is extensive.

III

  1. Another Kahlo painting was featured on a cover of a Sotheby’s catalog.
  2. This portrait, of the artist with a parrot and a monkey, sold for more than $3 million.
  3. Fridamania show no signs of relenting.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea

Directions:  Have students use this graphic organizer from Enchanted Learning  to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main points from the article.

WH-organizer from Enchanted Learning.

WH-organizer from Enchanted Learning.

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. The following  statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“…entertainers like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé shrewdly adapted the lessons pioneered by a publicity-friendly solipsist who anticipated the Instagram era by many decades, Kahlo remains in some ways an enigma.”

“In under two decades, aided by a well-regarded biography and asoapy biopic, Kahlo had undergone transformation from a compelling cult figure to a universally recognized symbol of artistic triumph and feminist struggle. Somehow along the way she also became a centerpiece of a kitsch marketing bonanza.”

“I remember buying as a gift Frida Kahlo Converse sneakers at 10 Corso Como,” said Robert Burke, a luxury consultant, referring to the high-end Milanese retailer. Though that was fun and good, there’s only a certain amount of times an image can be used before it starts to fatigue and degrade.”

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Arts | Tags:

Georgia O’Keeffe: “The Grey Lady of New Mexico”

 November 15, of this year marked Georgia O’keeffe’s 125th birthday.  She was born Nov.15, 1887  in Wisconsin, and died in 1986 in New Mexico. The desert environment where she lived inspired many of her colorful paintings. Note:  The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum will present “Georgia O’Keeffe and The Faraway: Nature and Image,”  This exhibit will run from May 11, 2012 – May 5, 2013. For further Information…

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post With Answer Key.

Georgia O'Keeffe on the roof of her Ghost Ranch home in New Mexico, 1967.  John Loengard—Time & Life Pictures:Getty Images

Georgia O’Keeffe on the roof of her Ghost Ranch home in New Mexico, 1967. John Loengard—Time & Life Pictures:Getty Images

Excerpt: Georgia O’ Keeffe: Invincible By Ben Cosgrove, Editor of LIFE Magazine

“Very few major American artists have ever been as productive, for so long, in so many mediums, as Georgia O’Keeffe was during her extraordinary career… Here, on what would have been her 125th birthday (she was born Nov. 15, 1887, in Wisconsin and died in 1986, at 98, in New Mexico),

“Red Poppy”, Oil on canvas, 1927, Georgia O’Keefe. American Masters.

LIFE.com looks at a single photograph — John Loengard’s astonishing 1967 portrait of the artist as an old woman — that somehow manages to suggest, in one frame, Georgia O’Keeffe’s willful isolation… Loengard’s striking, unforgettable picture — made on the roof of O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch home in northern New Mexico — is far more than just a study, or a sketch, of a formidable figure.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Squash Blossoms 1. WikiPaintings.

Framed against the sky and desert, seated before a chimney that feels, in its simplicity, almost totemic…as much a part of the severe Western landscape as the rocks, sand and sagebrush that surrounded her. She might have been sitting there for an hour, or for a thousand years…

Georgia O’Keeffe, Sunrise. WikiPaintings.

The Whitney’s colorful show puts aside the Georgia O’Keeffe we know best — the Gray Lady of New Mexico — to retrieve an O’Keeffe we ought to know better…

Georgia O’Keeffe, Purple Petunias. WikiPaintings.

Her taut vertical thunderbolts and giant crests of rainbow colors are like campaign banners being unfurled by an artist who has set herself — and the art of painting — entirely free.” Read more…

Georgia O’Keeffe with painting. Photo-American Masters

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate -Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.

Objective:  Students will read the article with a focus on reading comprehension and new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Tasks

 Prediction

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to read the title of the post, and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.  Have students use the pre-reading organizer by Scholastic to assist them in finding the main ideas from the reading.

II. While Reading Tasks

  •  Vocabulary

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. Have the students write sentences using each word.

  1. Very few major American artists have ever been as productive, for so long, in so many mediums, as Georgia O’Keeffe…
  2. O’Keeffe’s life seemingly encompassed not mere decades, but ages…
  3. So much of her work… is so distinctive
  4. …a single photograph- John Loengard’s astonishing 1967 portrait…
  5. Georgia O’Keeffe’s willful isolation
  6. Loengard’s striking, unforgettable picture… is far more than just a study, or a sketch, of a formidable figure.
  7. Framed against the sky and desert…that feels, in its simplicity, almost totemic
  8. LIFE devoted more than a dozen pages to the artist…
  9. Whether emphatically realistic or starkly abstract… these works distill…  something of her strong, adventurous spirit.
  10. Freedom — from cliché… from the expected and the tame — has always been the aim…of the greatest artists.
  • Reading Comprehension

True / False

Directions:  The following statements were taken from the article.  If  a statement is true, students write (T) if  a statement is false they  write (F)  and  provide the correct answer from the article.

  1. O’Keeffe had drawings as early as 1916.
  2. In the 1920s many of her later works were inspired by the natural beauty of Mexico.
  3. Georgia O’Keeffe was born during the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee (1887).
  4. O’Keeffe relied on others to guide her visions of art.
  5. This year marks her 125th birthday.
  6. She was born in Washington.
  7. John Lennon photographed her in 1967.
  8. The photo was taken on the veranda of her home in New Mexico.
  9. In a March 1968 cover story, this photo was on the cover of Life.
  10. The Whitney’s colorful show puts aside the Georgia O’Keeffe we know best — the Gray Lady of New Mexico.

•  Grammar Focus

Identifying Parts of Speech 

Directions:  In groups, students aretoidentify the adjectives in the following paragraphs. Then they are to use these terms along with words from other parts of speech to create their own paragraphs about art.  After, have each group share their stories with the class.

“Loengard’s striking, unforgettable picture — made on the roof of O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch home in northern New Mexico — is far more than just a study, or a sketch, of a formidable figure. Framed against the sky and desert, seated before a chimney that feels, in its simplicity, almosttotemic… O’Keeffe seems carved into the photograph, as much a part of the severe Western landscape as the rocks, sand and sagebrush that surrounded her. She might have been sitting there for an hour, or for a thousand years…”

 

III. Post Reading Tasks

 

• Reading Comprehension Check

Graphic Organizers: Finding the main idea

Directions:  Have students use this colorful graphic organizer from Enchanted Learning  to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main points from the article.

 

  • Discussion /Writing Tasks

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. After, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can choose to write an essay on one of the topics.

  1. Why is there such a contrast between the photo of O’keeffe, and her colorful paintings?
  2. With your group members, discuss what you think is going on in the photograph of O’keeffe.
  3. For example, what do you think O’keeffe was thinking about? How long had she been sitting there?
  4. Why do you think she was given the title “Gray Lady”
  5. With your members draw a picture of a flower similar to that of O’keeffe’s paintings. Have a contest to see which group’s picture  came the closest to O’keeffe’s.

IV. Listening Activity   

Video: Georgia O’keeffe A Life In Art

Artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986).Photo: Encyclopedia of World Biography.

“The American painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) developed a distinctive art form that includes startling details of plant forms, bleached bones, and landscapes of the New Mexico desert—all created with natural clarity.” Read more…

http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ni-Pe/O-Keeffe-Georgia.html#b

Pre-listening 

Listening for New Vocabulary or New Terms

Directions: Here is a list of words from the video. Have students find the meanings before they listen to the video. As they listen to the video, have students check off the new words that they hear.

indelibly, transformed, torrent, adobe, modernism, dimension, abstract.

  • While Listening Tasks

True  /False statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video.  As students listen to the video if  a statement is true they mark it if the statement is  false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer.

Note to teachers: This is a 15 minute video.  The questions cover only the first 10 minutes.

According to the narrator:

  1.  This is O’keefe country.  The  Land the painter  Gorgia  O’keefe made indelibly  her  own.
  2. Southern  New Mexico  transformed  the artists’s work   and changed  her life.
  3. That first summer in  New Mexico resulted in a torrent of  new paintings, that continued unabated for decades.
  4. In 1924  O’keeffe discovered the spectacular beauty of an areas known as Ghost Ranch, North of Santa Fe.
  5. For more than 50 years she spent every summer and fall in this adobe house she owned.
  6. New Mexico didn’t provide  O’keefee the privacy and solitude that were essential to her.
  7. In  O’keedff’s  native Wisconsin where she first made art, nature was her subject.
  8. When she first started painting in New York,  O’keeffe could imitate the work of other artists, but she wanted to paint in her own way.
  9. In 1915 O’keefe  began a series of abstract  experimental  paintings.
  10.  She  never had doubts about her new -style of painting.
  11. In July 1918  O’keefe went to paint in New York.
  12. Between 1918 and 1923 O’keefee created some of the most original  and significant abstractions of  American modernism.
  13. Her large-scale flowers added a new dimension  to the tradition of flower painting.
  14.  Whatever O’keefe painted  It was her fusion of the abstract and  real that gave solidity and strength to her painting.

 

Post-Listening Tasks

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

1. After listening to this video has your personal opinion of Georgia O’keeffe changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion of her.

2.  With your group members, make up a list of questions that you would like to ask  O’keeffe.

Related

Georgia O’keeffe Museum Celebrate 15th Anniversary  “The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is delighted to present “Georgia O’Keeffe and The Faraway: Nature and Image,”  This exhibit will run from May 11, 2012 – May 5, 2013. For further Information…


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Category: Arts | Tags: ,