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Possibilities of Painting: 2020 Community Art Partners Virtual Exhibition

Possibilities of Painting: 2020 Community Art Partners Virtual Exhibition features artwork created by elementary residents of four housing developments in Columbus, Georgia. Educators from The Columbus Museum worked in partnership with Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia staff to plan and implement a six-week program for youth inspired by artist Jarrett Key’s Hair Painting No. 29.

Hair Painting No. 29 was created on-site at The Columbus Museum by Key in 2018. Using their hair as a paintbrush, Key sang, danced, and celebrated their heritage while creating the painting. Now in the Museum’s permanent collection, this painting served as inspiration for each class session. Participants learned about Key’s work and the artistic process by watching videos of performances, looking at photographs, and sharing their thoughts and feelings about the piece. Each art-making activity asked participants to put their own innovation and experimentation skills to the test as they chose non-traditional painting tools to use, just as Key had. Everything from potato mashers to yarn to bubble wrap was used to create one-of-a-kind abstract paintings throughout the program. Participants were encouraged to nurture their creativity and curiosity through the process while strengthening visual literacy and critical thinking skills. In the final class session, students visited the Museum to view Hair Painting No. 29 in-person, explore the galleries, and complete a final studio project celebrating their self-expression skills.

The Housing Authority of Columbus and The Columbus Museum began partnering on various outreach and curatorial projects in July 2018. Through grants awarded in 2019 from the Office of Crime Prevention and the Rotary Club of Columbus, this community outreach program was able to expand during the 2019-2020 school year. Special thanks to our partners, including the Housing Authority of Columbus, Rotary Club of Columbus, and the City of Columbus’ Office of Crime Prevention.

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