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Explore the Harlem Renaissance then create a bright, bold drawing illustrating everyday stories of people in the community.
William Henry Johnson was born in South Carolina on March 19, 1901. As a teenager, he moved to Harlem, where he enrolled in the Art School of the Natural Academy of Design. He studied in France for 3 years, then returned to New York. Disillusioned by how he was treated as a young black artist in the United States, Johnson moved to Denmark, where he met and married a Danish artist, weaver Holcha Krake. After several years in Norway, they returned to New York in 1938. Johnson taught at the Harlem Community Arts Center, where he began to take an increased interest in the black experience in New York City. This interest, shared by other African American artists, such as Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, began the Harlem Renaissance movement.
Johnson's art includes people actively engaged in their everyday activities. He depicts communities that interact and share common experiences. His paintings are clean and strong. Each picture seems to tell a story.
With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, have students write a story about activities they enjoy doing with friends. Vividly describe the people and places.
On construction paper, use Crayola Washable Markers to illustrate the story. Fill drawings with bold, bright colors. Keep the figures strong and simple.
Cover a table with recycled newspaper. Use a wet Crayola Paint Brush to blend the washable marker colors. Dry.
Display the 7 principles of Kwanzaa in a one-of-a-kind accordion window book.
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