Using imagery from Picturing the City: Downtown Pittsburgh, 2007–2010 and Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story, as well as their own photography as inspiration, students experimented with a variety of artist media including paint, oil pastel, and collage to create mixed media compositions. While observing the artistic process, students were encouraged to use expressive media to document and communicate aspects of their daily lives that are not apparent through their photography.
Students worked in pairs and with the guidance of a teaching artist to compose and take a self-portrait using digital cameras, a backdrop, and professional lighting equipment. Students made artistic decisions about lighting, pose, point-of-view, facial expression, and composition to create expressive and thoughtful self-portraits.
Students recorded their thoughts about the exhibitions, photography, and identity as well as steps in the artistic process through writing and drawing in their sketchbooks. Some students sketched recreations of people and places seen in the photographs from Picturing the City and Teenie Harris, prompting them to compare contemporary life in Pittsburgh with the scenes depicted in Harris’s photographs from the 1930s–1970s.
Picturing Me was made possible by generous support from The Heinz Endowments and the Scaife Family Foundation Fund for Scholarships.