Mentorship Project Presidential Self Portrait Collages

Join us on Zoom!

Wednesday, November 17

6:00 – 7:30 PM

A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent the week of.

How To Make Your Collage

Your collage kit has everything you need to do the project!

Making your collage is super simple and fun.

Make a collage that best represents you. Use whatever materials you want in whatever way you want.

A few helpful tips:

  • Your portraits and the DIY sticker sheets are printed on adhesive paper. Just cut out what you want, peel off the backing, and stick them on the background board!
  • If you want to use the rhinestone strip as a frame, cut it in half (lengthwise) in order to have enough to go around the entire perimeter of the background board.
  • Have something to say? Write it in a word bubble sticker! If your kit doesn’t have a word bubble sticker, you can always make your own out of some white space of the sticker sheets.

Art Exhibit / Book Release Party

Saturday, December 11, 4-5 PM

A Mentorship Project Art Exhibit / Book Release Party is being held in your honor!

On display will be your paintings of your best selves; your portraits from the LantaeX Photography sessions; and an indoor StoryWalk of the book created for the Mentorship Project, which serves as a cumulative record of the Mentorship Project experience.

Your artwork, as well as a framed photographic portrait of you, will be given to you at the end of the event.

Once the book has been printed, you will receive 2 copies. A copy of the book will also be available in the library collection.

Kehinde Wiley – About the Artist

This collage project is based on the work of Kehinde Wiley, the artist who created the Presidential portrait of Barack Obama.

Beginning with painter Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 portrait of George Washington, it has been traditional for the president of the United States to have an official portrait taken during their time in office, most commonly an oil painting.

By placing contemporary figures in the guise of powerful historic figures, Kehinde Wiley applies the conventions of glorification, history, wealth, and prestige found in art historical portraiture to urban, contemporary black and brown male subjects.

Wiley utilized floriography, the symbolization of flowers, to help tell Obama’s story. The purple African lily symbolizes his father’s Kenyan heritage; the white jasmine represents his Hawaiian birthplace and time spent in Indonesia; the multicolored chrysanthemum signifies Chicago, the city where Obama grew up and eventually became a state senator.

Example Artworks

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Contact Library Director Diana Brawley Sussman at or 618-457-0354 ext. 9

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