The RunDown

The RunDown

AP Spanish Recreates Famous Works

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Jamie Colson’s Merengue painting

    Jaime Colson
  • Spanish projects presented on the tables in the library.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

In early January, Sra. Tarifa’s AP Spanish class was assigned an art project, recreating some of the most famous Latin-American paintings. Some of these artists include Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero, and Jaime Colson.

This is the third year that Sra. Tarifa has done this assignment. Its purpose to exispose her students to the world of art. It helps the students experience the world of art by doing it themselves. “Most of them have never taken any kind of art class but they end up creating wonderful pieces. Sometimes all it takes to discover an artist is to do it, and that is how little Picassos are formed.” Sra. Tarifa noted.

The unit being taught was about art and the main argument was that art should be part of the primary curriculum in any school. This assignment helped push her students out of their comfort zones and even discover a new way to express themselves.

For the first time since she began the project, she did post some videos online to help students with technique, but this assignment is primarily a freehanded assignment. Students got to pick what piece they did, how they did it, and what part they painted.

Sra. Tarifa commented, “I always suggest they do a sketch of the painting with a pencil first, but the truth is, students seem to want to do well, and some have said that it is a calming activity, so regardless of how they prepare, wonderful creations are made.”

Freshman, Emily Aguilar, chose a painting called “Merengue” by Jaime Colson. Colson was a Dominican painter and writer specializing in Modernism, cubism, surrealism, and neo-humanism. Merengue fused Spanish and African music and is meant to capture the essence of both cultures and prove that cultures can learn from each other.

Each student got their canvas from Tarifa, but they had to supply paint and brushes for themselves. Emily struggled a bit to replicate Colson’s work and had to erase her sketch a couple of times. This is where Tarifa’s videos helped.

“When picking my painting I liked Jaime Colson’s use of color,” said Aguilar. “Because there are so many people in the painting, and people are some of the hardest things to paint, this assignment did take me some time. Although it was time consuming, it was relaxing, so that made up for it.”

This assignment is an usual one for most students. Memorizing and studying is a common way to spend your time in school which is beneficial in some cases, but not in this case. Tarifa developed this project to teach students to feel what the artists felt when painting these creations. Instead of researching it, doing it taught them to lay their emotions down and really connect with what they were learning.

“I liked seeing how other people approached this project because some people did the full painting and others zoomed in on specific parts of the art,” Aguilar stated. “A part of the project was to get up and explain why you did what you did and hearing why some people painted the full thing versus a specific part was interesting. The specific parts showed me why the artist included a specific detail and the full painting showed how the artist felt as a whole.”

“When you memorize just facts, school becomes redundant,” explained Sra. Tarifa. “I feel that to do is to succeed. Students already struggle to enjoy school, so we need to find ways to get them excited about learning.”

More to Discover