Suggestions for Classrooms and Workshops

Wing’s work also lends itself to the K-12 classroom and for use within community organizations. Wing asked higher educators from schools and organizations to provide information on how they have used his photographs with their school and community groups.

Erinn Letts, Middle School Teacher

Our students at Folwell studied your photographs from Lake Street USA, chose a favorite, wrote critiques, and then attempted to take similar pictures in their own lives using meager disposable cameras that we were able to purchase for them.  We then brought our work to your studio and shared in a most memorable discussion of your work and theirs.  This project was the most unforgettable of my teaching career. The stories the kids told and the critiques they made truly displayed a level of higher thinking and interest that they had not shown to many of their other teachers in other classes. It opened their mind’s eye and they began to view the world differently, seeing the ‘perfect shots’ in every day life.

Middle & High School Assignment (Suggested by Darleen Hauck, former teacher) Tell or write a creative story. What do you see? What was the person or persons in the photograph you chose feeling? Are these feelings particular to this person or do they have a universal quality? What are the connections to the setting? What do you think is the story behind this photo?

What cultural backgrounds are portrayed in these photographs? Are they represented in the restaurants along University Avenue? Interview a restaurant manager or other small business owner. Ask how they were able to start their business and what skills they need to make it successful. Select a country, report on its culture, government, imports, exports, family life, food. In addition to library sources, interview parents, grandparents and others in the community.

Art Assignment (suggested by Gita Ghei, sculptor)

I felt an immediate affinity to your work, for its humor and breadth, and because I was raised in Wisconsin with my mom being from Red Wing and my dad from New Delhi.  I felt the insider/outsider perspective.

Your book Lake Street USA was a direct inspiration to me in a commission for a public drinking fountain that I am working on currently with 2 other artists, it will be located on Lake Street YWCA in Mpls.  I hope to show some of the many languages of the street on our sculpture and even though our bronze fountain is about water and geology there is a connection to the people being that it is public-and that is what you capture so well.

Since I work in 3-d -how would I use the University Avenue gallery for education projects?  I think it would be to create portraits in a different media, but of similar HUE-that would be expressive of the utter uniqueness of every sidewalk square on the street, every face, and how every moment is itself an endless expression of all that has come before it.

Chalkboard Writing Assignment 1 (Suggested by Amy Hewett, Teacher at LEAP HS)

We looked at Wing’s website and his different photo galleries to set the foundation for the questions:

1. Who are the people in the photos? How would you describe them? What do you have in common with them? Why are they important? Why did Wing choose to photograph these people?
2. After a couple of days of discussion and writing about a photo of their choice (they made up their own bios of the people in the photos and then shared their bios with each other).
3. Then we discussed the questions Wing sent me and I gave them my own example for each so they could reach deep within themselves for the answer.
4. They took out their Writer’s Notebooks and wrote their answers, using their own creativity to embellish.  They worked in small groups to talk about their ideas.  
5. We discussed the project and the phrases they wrote. We shared some of our stories with each other and wrote down some of the similarities and differences. We then developed them into an Analysis Paper on Compare and Contrast

Chalkboard Photo Assignment (Suggested by Wing Young Huie)

Creative Arts High School Student, 2009 Wing Young Huie

This is a way for students who don’t know each other well to interact:

1. Look at Wing’s chalkboard photos and discuss.
2. Who are the people in the photos? How would you describe them? What do you have in common with them? Why are they important? Why did Wing choose to photograph these people?
3. Make chalkboards out of 1/4 inch plywood, 2 x 3 feet, spray-painted with chalkboard paint.
4. Pair students by having each student approach another student outside of their social group or clique to participate.
5. The pairs of students will then ask each other these six questions:
* Describe your life in one word or several sentences.
* What advice would you give to a stranger?
* What is your favorite word?
* How do you think others see you? What don’t they see?
* How has race affected you?
* Describe an incident that changed you.
6. Encourage students to be as real and honest as possible and avoid cliché answers.
7. The student asking the questions will pick which answer the other student will write on the blackboard. Try to pick the answer that is the most interesting and revealing.
8. The students paired will then photograph each other on the school grounds with the chalkboards. Try to be imaginative and pick areas that reflect what was written on the blackboard.
9. Display the photographs and discuss. What was your impression of the other student before this interaction? What about after? Were the answers surprising? How difficult is it to photograph the essence of someone? How does the photograph of you compare with how you think of yourself?

Poster Board Art Assignment (suggested by Bev Alsleben, Teacher, LEAP HS)

LEAP High School Students Wing Young Huie

1. I looked at the following 6 questions and tried to reword them in language easier for my level of English language learners without changing the meaning.
* Describe your life in one word or several sentences.
* What advice would you give to a stranger?
* What is your favorite word?
* How do you think others see you? What don’t they see?
* How has race affected you?
* Describe an incident that changed you.
2. Students wrote the questions in their writer notebooks, leaving space for small paragraph answers.
3. We discussed the questions as a group and clarified any words the students didn’t know.
4. Students got into groups of 4, reading each question and sharing their answers.  They also asked questions of each other to get more specific answers or examples or to explain more clearly what they wanted to say.
5. Students then wrote the answers in their notebooks.
6. Because I wasn’t sure if students at this level could easily pull the main point from their writing to write on the chalkboards, I asked the students to choose one question they particularly liked and write a short answer to the question.
7. Students brainstormed a visual to go with or illustrate their answer
8. On half a sheet of tagboard, students designed their drawing and added their caption or short answer to one of the questions.  They decided to color the visual.

I think they were surprised by the variety of answers they heard.

Writing Prompts For Middle & HS Students (Suggested by the Minnesota Writing Project at the Weisman Art Museum)

1. All of these portraits try to capture a likeness of a unique person. What are some of the things— your history, experiences, talents—that make you unique? Write about a time you felt a person really saw you, and appreciated your uniqueness.
2. How do others see you? Have you ever had the experience of someone thinking they understood or knew you well, but they really didn’t get you at all? Write about a time when you were misunderstood. What mistake did people make? Did they think of you as a stereotype? Did you correct them? How did you handle it?
3. What are some places where you feel comfortable? Maybe it is your favorite place. Write about a place and time that gives you a sense of belonging or you feel at home. Where is it? What is it like? What do you see? How does it smell, or feel to be there? What makes it comfortable?
4. Have you ever been the “outsider”, not quite fitting in? Write about a time in your life when you’ve felt like a stranger in a strange place. Where were you? In what ways did you not fit in? Did that change over time?
5. Think about those family and friends you love and feel close to. Write about someone or a group of people that you feel connected to or have a close bond. Who are they? How are you connected? Why do you feel this closeness? What do you share?

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