DM Hills portrait exhibit opens

Student artists at Del Mar Hills Academy of Arts and Sciences celebrated the opening of their portrait exhibition on Feb. 4 in the Performing Arts Center.

Parents and community members were invited to meet and mingle with the promising artists and view their works. Special guests included former Del Mar Mayor Crystal Crawford and Superintendent Sharon McClain.

Nicole Nelson, school art specialist, conceived this schoolwide project with a few parent volunteers. Each student was able to create a unique self-portrait in the style of a famous artist, usually coinciding with curriculum studies in their grade. A variety of media was utilized ranging from colored pencils, pastels, watercolors and tempera paint to computer-generated graphics. Susie Hopper, technology specialist, worked with first- and fifth-graders to create their portraits on iMacs using Photo Booth and comic software.

Kindergarten artists made colorful Fauvist portraits after studying Henri Matisse. Fun props were used to personalize first-grade Warhol self-portraits.

Second-graders learned about American Regionalism and used Grant Wood’s American Gothic as a sample.

Frida Kahlo was investigated by third-graders, who created paintings with vivid colors on canvas in a folk art style.

Fourth-graders created Raphael-like self-portraits.

Fifth-graders personalized their Lichtenstein portraits with funny phrases and facial expressions after learning about Pop Art technique and style.

Sixth-grade students abstracted their front and side view self-portraits by cutting their drawings apart and reassembling them into their own Cubist abstract faces.