Digital Imaging Material-Based Self-Portrait
Tracy Van Duinen at Austin Community Academy developed this version of the Material-Based Self-Portrait Project.

This project was modified to be taught by a single teacher in a crowded urban classroom. The intent of the project is still to introduce students to strategies in making contemporary sculpture and to engage the students in metaphorical thinking.

Since I first taught this project 5 years ago, digital cameras have become more affordable as has large scale photocopying. I added a lesson in basic digital imaging. Students learned how to use the camera and input the images into Adobe PhotoShop. The students also used stock photo CDs to collect additional patterns and images to apply to their final work. They experimented with basic photo manipulation and printed a final image for enlargement. The photos were enlarged at a Kinko’s copy shop at 400%. In this version of the project, the text becomes an intrinsic part of the piece rather than a separate statement.

The introduction of digital imaging and photocopying into today’s art room allows students to make use of everyday technology for art making. Students are thrilled to discover that they can go to the local copyshop to make art. Is computer-generated art of this type still considered outside the realm of familiar art practice and "regular" art education? How long does a technique need to be used, and by whom, to be considered traditional and worthy of inclusion in the curriculum?
My sculpture is made out of flowers and clouds. Flowers because they are beautiful and colorful and stand out. Clouds because I am a light person and sometimes I can be mean if it comes down to it. I am a nice and sweet person that’s why I chose flowers and clouds. Everywhere I go I stand out.

Talonda Berry
If I were to make a sculpture of myself, I would use ocean waves, sky, clouds, telephone parts, and money. All of these materials symbolize a characteristic of myself. The waves, sky, and clouds symbolize my favorite colors. The telephone is the reason why I live because that is my hobby. I love money; I mean, who doesn’t? Last, but not least, numbers because I love math and counting. This is what I would be made of if I created a sculpture of myself.

Kara Tillmon
If I were to make a statue of myself it would be made of fire and water. Fire because my mind is always blazing. Water because it is the strongest force in the world. I believe this best describes me in everything I do.

Martis Cosey