Visual Arts

Dalton Celebrates The Life and Work of Frida Kahlo

The Dalton School came together to honor Frida Kahlo on Wednesday, April 19. ¡Yo soy Frida! Day has already become a Dalton tradition. The school "blossomed" with the joy and color of this Latin Amercian artist, to honor her art and the challenges she laid before our culture.  Frida was ahead of her time, questioning gender roles and identity at a time where those weren’t even topics for discussion. Echoing Frida's unique characteristics, students, teachers and staff wore flowers in their hair, and some bravely drew in a Frida-style unibrow. Many exchanged smiles at their change adopted appearance, making the camaraderie evident. Reaching across disciplines just as Frida reached across societal boundaries, the event drew greater understanding and connection within Dalton to illustrate the challenges that many people experience, male and female, due to stereotypes and social expectations.
The school was full of vitality and creativity among students, teachers, staff and families who even shared some photos Frida Style from home. Centered in Spanish in the World Language department, as they delved into Mexican culture of the time, Frida's interdisciplinary influences also crossed diverse, disciplines, divisions and departments: 
  • The History Department referenced Frida's politics and her documented relationship with Leon Trotsky,
  • the Art department focused on her naive style and importance in the surrealist movement,
  • Health classes discussed her views and positions on sexual identity, and 
  • the Library shared books and resources while converting a section of the library into a festive Casita Azul.
Photos poured in from the photo opp in the lobby, from throughout the school, and as far away as Black Rock Forest. The montage helped create solidarity with everyone who participated and will hopefully inspire others to join next year.

Special thanks are due to the Visual Art and Theater Departments for their part in showing students how to make paper flowers, helping to dress mannequins as Frida and for providing the Frida self-portrait-style photo frame in the lobby.  An impressive 90% of the Middle School teachers participated in this interdisciplinary day of homage to this great 20th Century naive, surrealist painter. 

Story and photos submitted by Carmen Herrera
Additional Photos submitted by Lotus Do.
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