Honoring Our Heroes: Past, Present & Beyond Student Exhibition

The Rockwell Museum’s annual theme, Heroes, inspired students from The Alternative School for Math & Science (ASMS) to create individual projects connected to the art they viewed during their field trip in January. Honoring Our Heroes: Past, Present & Beyond is a 7th grade student exhibition developed in collaboration with art teacher Kendra Echevarria at ASMS. The artwork features heroes in the students’ lives and amplifies how people in our everyday lives can empower and energize us in creative ways.

Honoring Our Heroes: Past, Present & Beyond will be on view at KIDS ROCKWELL Art Lab February 24 – May 30, 2023.

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In the Museum galleries, students viewed objects that reveal aspects about artists’ identities, heroes in history and stories about who is represented as a hero today. Students also looked at symbolism and considered the importance of diverse representation of culture in society. For example, ceramic artist Jason Garcia incorporates Marvel superheroes Loki and Thor into his sculptural work. He also includes Native American warriors to encourage people to question who they think of as heroes.

Artist Marie Watt

Seneca Artist Marie Watt is a multidisciplinary artist who created Blanket Stories: Western Door, Salt Sacks and Three Sisters on view in the Contemporary Gallery. Blankets hold meaningful stories that are often connected to people. These stories are often connected to people we consider to be heroes: a mentor, a supportive friend, a knowledgeable elder or close relative. Do you have a special blanket or object at home that has a meaningful story?

Students were also inspired by the exhibition, Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray. They explored how Kahlo is an iconic hero who persevered through life’s hardships to follow her dreams. Famous American portrait photographer, Nickolas Muray, captured many candid facets of Kahlo’s life. The photographs on view shared aspects of her charismatic persona, love for animals, fashion style, dedication to artmaking, devotion to family and friends and her indigenous Mexican heritage. Photography is one way to memorialize and remember someone. 

friday kahlo with cigarette and pet eagle on brilliant blue wall, photograph

Nikolas Muray, Frida with her pet eagle, Coyoacán, 1939. Digital pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper.

Students experimented with media, techniques and artistic processes for their individual artworks to express their gratitude and relationships with the heroes in their own lives. The choice-based art curriculum at ASMS allows students to choose the type of art, materials and artistic style they are curious about, catering to the individual interests and needs of each student.  On view are their unique, one-of-a-kind creations honoring heroes in their lives, past, present and beyond.


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