Begin a discussion on contemporary hairstyles. How do we see
others and ourselves through a style of hair? How do others see us?
COLLECT IMAGES OF HAIR STYLES
Find images in magazines to create more discussion about the choice
and significance of hairstyles.
Fill out Hair Today Questionnaire. Remind students to interview their
parents and grandparents about hair styles back in the days.
Brainstorm hairstyle names. Make a list of hairstyle names and inspirations.
Watch the first 45 minutes of the movie or perhaps just the Hair
Synopsis of Hair: Hair is
an entertaining and powerful tribute to the turbulent spirit of the
'60s. Fresh from the farm, Claude Bukowski arrives in New York City
for a date with the Army Introduction Board, only to walk into a hippie
"happening" in Central Park and fall in love with the beautiful
Sheila. Befriended by the hippies' pacifist leader, Berger and urged
to crash a formal party in order to declare his love for Sheila, Claude
begins an adventure that lands him in jail, Central Park Lake, and
finally, in the army. Berger's final effort to save Claude from Vietnam
sets in motion a bizarre twist of fate with shocking consequences.
(Total length of Hair is 121
Watch the scene from the movie School
Daze where the cast sings Good and Bad Hair, a
lively music and dance number that brings up serious questions about
standards of beauty.
Synopsis of School Daze: At
an African American college, amid gala coronations, football, fraternities,
parades, and parties, a group of buddies find themselves caught up
in romance, relationships, rituals, and rivalries during one outrageous
homecoming weekend. The story follows two cousins who have opposing
attitudes when it comes to the purpose of college: learning versus
partying. Spike Lee's sprawling exploration of the tensions that are
present on black college campuses is an exhilarating blend of surreal
musical, comedy, and poignant social criticism.
(Total length of film: 114 minutes.)
What are the politics of hair? Can hair make a statement
about who we are? Has hair ever been a battleground
in their homes?
Poorly drawn hair can ruin a portrait. Show students various artworks
in which the artist has represented hair in a convincing and beautiful
way. An eclectic selection of artists whose drawings elegantly and
concisely represent hair: Elizabeth Catlett, Luis Jimenez, Stanley
Spencer, Vincent Van Gogh, Charles White, and Grant Wood. Point
out various strategies for drawing hair. Comic books are also a
good source of interesting styles of depicting hair.
Using pencils on white paper have students draw a portrait
head without the face. Concentrate on creating the specificity
of shape and texture of the hair. Students can work from each other
as models or from magazine photos. A fun alternative is to choose
only celebrity images and see if students can recognize familiar
characters by hair alone.
Using a Polaroid camera, photograph each student from the back.
Review the students Hair Today Questionnaires and the lists
made during discussions. Choose words that describe the students
hair. Write the words on slips of paper.
Play with the words and images. Pair words with various photos.
This will provide a springboard for further discussion as students
consider the ways in which meaning shifts when words are juxtaposed
with different pictures.
Have each student choose a photograph of a head seen from the back.
These can be found photos, family photos, or photos taken of themselves
or their classmates.
Each student will create a drawing on black scratchboard. Begin
the scratchboard drawing by making a very light pencil sketch directly
on the black scratchboard.
Demonstrate how to use the scratchboard tools. Provide small pieces
of scrap scratchboard so that students can practice for a few minutes
before beginning on their final pieces.
Dont draw an outline around the hairit will look
like a helmet.
A series of lines can create a strong sense of edges and
of the overall form.
Most hair can be drawn with many, almost parallel lines.
Experiment with the length and kinds of line needed to create
a feeling of the texture
of the hair.
Create a sense of dimension and shine by removing a lot of
black in some areas.
Learning to draw hair well is an important facet of students developing
confidence in drawing the human figure. One of the great things
about the Hair Today project is that by spending only a few extra
days of class time on the project, the unit becomes more than a
detail-oriented drawing exercise. The work becomes an interesting
and fun cultural exploration that the art students can share with
other students and teachers in the school.
Create a display in a public place in the school. Be ready for lots
of comments and conversations.
There are many ways in which this project could be extended:
Students write down the most dramatic or revelatory story
or idea they encountered
during the project and make
these statements part of the installation.
Enlarge the scratchboard drawings using a Xerox machine to
create a bolder scale
Have students create narrative drawings or comic strips that
tell a personal story
related to hair.
here to print out process plans for the Hair Today