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Shaping Ourselves

The Materials of Our Lives

Community Exhibition

Free / In-Person

Included with general admission; free for members

felt fraction quilt

Inspired Teaching Demonstration School (ITDS)


Teachers: Micaela Goldzweig, Marie Rayme, Aliah Harrison, Sarah Gladkov-Shachar, Sha’Daija Hendrick, Chrystena Hill, and Keonia Keeton

Pre-Kindergarten students at ITDS explored the idea of togetherness. What does togetherness mean? Why do people come together? What can people accomplish together? The classes discussed three different reasons to come together–to help, to celebrate, and to love. Families were invited into class to share their ideas of togetherness, and students learned about many powerful things that can happen when people come together. At the Phillips, students visited artwork that showed togetherness and friendship in different forms. Then students created collaborative collages using photos, paper scraps, and found objects showing their three different forms of togetherness.

Lyle Ashton-Harris, Blow-Up II (Armory), 2005

Artwork Inspiration: Lyle Ashton-Harris, Blow-Up II (Armory), 2005 (on view in Pour, Tear, Carve)

Second Grade Art & Science

Teacher: Keonia Keeton

In their science classes, students learned about different habitats and the adaptations of plants and animals that survive there. Each student chose an animal and researched their habitat, then reported on the adaptations and special characteristics of the environment. In connection with this work, students created multimedia shadow boxes depicting their animal in its habitat.

Fifth & Sixth Grade Art

Teachers: Amber Dooley and Keonia Keeton

Students began this project with an in-depth exploration of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and his artistic process. Using Lawrence’s work as a springboard for conversations about migration, students conducted interviews of migrants within their communities. These interviews, and students’ personal experiences, inspired the works on view here. This collection–which emulates the techniques that Lawrence used to color his original panels–represents a modern “Migration Series.”

migration series panel 23

Artwork Inspiration: Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, 1940-41 (on view in Pour, Tear, Carve)

Our Lady of Victory

Third Grade Math

Teachers: Rosanne Weber and Maya Dunbar

The third-grade students each created a section of a collaborative felt quilt to extend their understanding of fractions. Students identified various fractions to create a work of art demonstrating that fractions are equal parts of a whole. Through hands-on learning, the students gained a better understanding of equivalent fractions.

Aolar Mosely

Artwork Inspiration: Aolar Mosely, Blocks, 1955 (on view in Pour, Tear, Carve)

Fifth Grade Social Studies

Teachers: Rosanne Weber and Lauren Harper

The fifth-grade students each created unique relief sculptures exploring the idea of tension through a wide variety of materials. The class is learning about the early colonial period in American history and specifically the colonists’ tense relationship with the British monarchy. Students empathized through their art with people, past and present, who are enduring oppression of their beliefs.

Jae Ko, Untitled (JK 719), 2012,

Artwork Inspiration: Jae Ko, Untitled (JK 719), 2012 (on view in Pour, Tear, Carve)

Seventh Grade Reading & Science

Teachers: Rosanne Weber, Elise Rahimi, and Gretchen Hochhausler

The seventh-grade students are reading House of the Scorpion in their reading and science classes. Following the themes of the book, students explored the concept of identity through a collaborative, symbolic work of art. The students created an image that symbolized their identity as a school, as a class, and as part of the community. Each student formed a section of the overall work that gives an abstract yet insightful description to express themselves and connect with their peers in class and the wider school community.

DNA: BLACK PAINTING: 1 McArthur Binion

Artwork Inspiration: McArthur Binion, DNA: Black Painting: 1, 2015 (on view in Pour, Tear, Carve)

The Langley School

Kindergarten, Grade 4, and Grade 8 Art

Teachers: Brittany Root, Jamie Rodriguez, Paige Dunn

Langley students collaborated to create a multimedia artwork to explore the intersection of natural systems and community systems through a variety of materials.

Kindergarteners gathered soil from Langley’s campus to make paint, which they then used to create a map of the Potomac River. Grades 4 and 8 used wool yarn, a reference to the historic use of the land for farming, glue, and balloons to make hanging spheres interwoven with burlap displaying words students associate with being part of the Langley community.

The artwork explores the connection between a natural resources cycle and a cycle within the Langley community. The land Langley utilizes is a piece of a larger environmental system within the Potomac River watershed and, more broadly, the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The historic stewardship of the land Langley inhabits influences the overall health of the watershed. Similarly, each student is a piece of a larger community system within the school – individual students within the broader community influence the overall health of The Langley School. The natural resources cycle is reflected in the choice of materials used to build the artwork, while the community cycle is represented through the symbolism of each interwoven component.

 William Christenberry, Southern Monument XI

Artwork Inspiration: William Christenberry, Southern Monument XI, 1983 (on view in Pour, Tear, Carve)