Tippecanoe School Corporation
Artwork educates and celebrates Black history
Sue Scott

Students at Battle Ground Middle School are celebrating Black History Month through various art projects. Teacher Brooke Plantenga highlighted two different artists in her classes and students created art pieces based on what they learned.

Students learned to write their names in graffiti style and construct their own fences after learning about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat specialized in collage and graffiti art. 

The second artist, Bisa Butler, is a textile artist who specializes in storytelling through her quilts. “For this project, each student chose someone who has inspired them or that they feel was an important part of our history,” says Plantenga. “Each student created their own paper quilt square and the squares were assembled to create one unified project (a paper quilt).”

“Bisa Butler was very inspiring and fun to learn about. I hope to become like her and inspire people,” says sixth grader Penelope Lucas. "I think we should continue to educate people even when it's not Black History month." Penelope chose actor Kevin Hart as someone to highlight on the quilt: "He has influenced Black students to stand up and use their voices."

"I chose Kamala Harris because she inspires little girls and shows them that they can do anything that boys can do,” says student Alcmeme Aliprantis. “I thought the project was fun and easy. It was a great way to display the greatness of Black people.”

Classmate Shaza Ahmed chose Ruby Bridges because she was brave and stood up for what was right. “I thought this project was fun and significant. This is one of my favorite projects,” says Shaza. “I'm so glad we got to do it because it takes time to appreciate those people who made extraordinary changes in the world. I think the final hallway display looks beautiful."

Students at BGM create a quilt
Student created quilt piece
Mae Jemison
BGM graffiti fence with name Abigail
Aubrey graffiti fence