Ward’s young artists, led by art teachers Jennifer DeGiacomo and Maria Belinquete, studied the work of New York-based Ghaninan artist Dennis Owusu-Ansah. Owusu-Ansah told CNN, “After witnessing my friend get teased by a group of men for wearing a kente cloth on our way to church, I figured something must be done to change the perspective of people who are not familiar with African culture.” It was at the point that he painted famous pop artists in royal African attire, such as Kente cloths. Ward’s fourth- and fifth-graders, performing paper weaving, also had the choice to draw traditional Kente designs or make up their own designs using oil pastels or black marker. In all, beautiful creations emerged as lessons about heritage and tradition took hold.
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