Art and Identity

The SK’s had their last AGO workshop this week. Paula & Clara have been doing lots of Pride activities with the children and they were so happy that this workshop was on offer. A huge thank you to the AGO for their progressive, accessible programming. Honoring Pride – Art & Identity was an excellent way for the children to deepen their understanding of what Pride is. Discussion included What does Pride mean to you? The host Lauren explored words like happiness, love, acceptance, forgiveness, Love is Love and inclusion. She talked about pronouns too, a topic that is becoming increasingly important every day as our culture evolves. Lauren helped the kids understand what He/She (etc.) and They/Them mean today.

The children did a drawing activity of their own before learning about the art that Lauren brought to share from the AGO collection. The kids were asked to draw themselves in the middle of a page and then surround themselves with all the things that make them unique and most themselves. Lauren explained that the artworks she was about to show were about the things that made the artists most themselves.

The first slide below is of two of Canada’s most famous artists, Frances Loring and Florence Wyle.
They fell in love in 1914 when it was illegal for a woman to love a woman. The second slide is called ‘Four Friends’. Lauren asked the children what they saw and why they thought the friends were
dressed up. She introduced the kids to the idea that men sometimes dress as women or ‘cross dress’ and what transgender means. These are big concepts for children, but Lauren did a fantastic job of introducing them. What better way to learn than through art and culture? Artists leave powerful messages behind for us to learn from.