Kaliegh Benck / Reporter
This is the third year the Mexican American Fine Arts Appreciation course has been offered at Del Mar. The course examines the Mexican American visual and performing arts and is split into two parts to cover each aspect accordingly, with Cynthia Perkins covering the art aspect and Glyn Garcia taking over the musical half. With a change to the curriculum this semester, Perkins was confronted with a new assignment for the students: a visual project. To Perkins, a self-portrait was the most adequate way to accomplish this.
“I thought … because I show a lot of self-portraits in the class, let’s go ahead and let them do a self-portrait,” Perkins said.
Without a previous semester’s example to go by, Perkins gave the students free rein with the assignment.
“I realized I only had one art major in the class so I just gave them some verbal instructions. I was really pleased though. I thought they did a nice job,” Perkins said.
Each student then stood in front of the class to explain his or her self-portrait project — what materials they used and why they chose those and how their portrait accurately described them.
Although the visual assignment wasn’t something the students were expecting from the course, everyone who participated seemed pleased with the outcome.
“I did have three to four students that wouldn’t even try it,” Perkins said. “I knew they were thinking, ‘I’m not an art major, why should I do that?’”
The choice to have the students create a self-portrait was a bit more deep-seeded than Perkins originally let on.
“I told (the students) that as part of the core curriculum it was important for them to learn the agony and ecstasy of being an artist,” Perkins said. “We might look at a work of art and think, ‘Oh that’s so easy. I could do that,’ but then when you start to do it yourself you kind of realize it takes a little bit more thought. It’s a little bit more difficult than you think.”
Six of the students’ portraits are on display in the upstairs hallway of the Fine Arts building for all to see.