Blue Gorilla and The Portrait


I am about to begin a unit on portraiture with my 2nd grade students. As I was researching the usual suspects one would include when doing a lesson such as this, I remembered an email I got from the Philadelphia Zoo about an installation entitled, Second Nature. This exhibit, subtitled, Junk Rethunk, will begin in April 2015 and features artists “telling stories of endangered animals through the use of recycled, reduced, reused and repurposed and renewed materials.”

One of the pieces is called Blue Gorilla by Santa Fe artist, Don Kennell. He speaks about his creation in a brief YouTube video sponsored by the Philadelphia Zoo.

I plan on using this video in my introduction to this unit because I want my students to understand that portraiture can be thematic as well as literal.

Check out the Zoo’s YouTube video. When I showed this to my own two at home, they were very excited to visit the exhibition when it opens at the Philadelphia Zoo in April. Perhaps we will see you there?!

Stay in Touch

I will be posting pictures of my student’s portraits shortly. Click “Follow My Blog” at the top left to receive an email to see them. You can also “Like” my Facebook page: I just created my page in March so spread the word!


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