Hiawatha Middle School, Hiawatha, KS

Hiawatha Middle School, Hiawatha, KS

Created by Hiawatha Middle School, Hiawatha, KS

Artists: 8th grade yearbook class.

Title: How We Feel Free

Teacher: Mrs. Bicker

Theme: Freedom

Hiawatha Middle School, Hiawatha, KS

Materials and techniques: After brainstorming and agreeing on an idea for the design, each student traced her hand on paper and made a rough draft. The next step was for each student to trace her hand on white fabric, then add details with acrylic paint, sharpies, and paint pens. One of the students helped paint the black background, and the teacher painted the earth in the center of the panel. The hand designs were cut out and glued in place, and the edges of the panel folded back to give a finished appearance.
Students have been visiting residents at nearby nursing home, so they were able to talk to elderly people about their idea of freedom and equality. Some shared their memories and experiences relating to these topics. A quote from one of the residents is included on the panel.

Did you enjoy this project? Yes! They liked painting and getting to do something different. They were able to share some of their views and get to know each other better. They liked incorporating various techniques and seeing how each person expressed themselves. The students thought it was fun and turned out better than they thought it would. At first the group seemed uneasy with the idea that their artwork would eventually “burn up in space” but by the end of the project they appreciated the symbolism.

About: We are all different but should still be treated with equality and dignity. Students designed their “hand print” to express what makes them free (using images, symbols, colors and words.) One of the participants explained, “Our hands have different designs to show we are all different.” We are also still same because of our common humanity. The hands encompass the earth to symbolize our helping each other gain freedom and equality. We must reach across barriers such as age, gender, race, religion, appearance, cultural background, social status, or ability. The words written on the center of the design state: “We are all equal when we have the freedom to be ourselves.” – CKB