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The Presence of Absence: An Exploration of Misrepresentation and Underpresentation

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Language Arts And English +11 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

How do contemporary artists grapple with the under- and misrepresentation of certain minorities in portraiture and American history? Participants will explore the newly unveiled portraits of President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley and former First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald and discuss how these artists are looking to the past to paint the present. After close reading these images, participants will consider how artists Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, in the exhibition “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light,” uncover voices previously unheard. 

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