Caribbean art has been influenced by the many different peoples who have lived on the islands, including native islanders, Africans and Europeans. The art of the Carribbean islands has also been influenced by the tropical environment and local plants and animals, especially the ocean life. Caribbean art is often colourful and has a realistic and natural style. Caribbean art projects will help your students to better understand the Caribbean culture and environment.
Caribbean Life in 3-D
This project is most appropriate for elementary or middle-school art projects, and for children who have already been studying different aspects of Caribbean life. Students create a diorama of Caribbean life using a small cardboard box or a flat piece of cardboard. Students can paint the sides of the box or the cardboard with scenes of Caribbean wildlife or towns, and create structures, such as houses, boats or wildlife inside the box. Students can use materials such as papier-mache, paper or plant materials.
Map of the Islands
This Caribbean art project is most appropriate for middle-school students. Students should chose one of the islands of the Caribbean and research its geography. Using a sheet of cardboard, students can trace and cut out the shape of the island. Onto this map, they should then mark important features of the island, such as beaches, towns, cities, mountains and jungles. Students can then decorate the large maps with illustrations of local features, plants and animals.
Illustrate a Story
This Caribbean art project can be used with all ages, particularly elementary schoolchildren. Read the children a story from the Caribbean, or stories about life in the Caribbean (see Resources). Discuss with children what makes the story special. Have the children draw pictures that illustrate scenes in the story. Older children may like to write their own short story set in the Caribbean and illustrate it themselves. You can also read the children historical accounts of the Caribbean and have children illustrate these events.
All ages can participate in this Caribbean art project. Design a mural that depicts a typical Caribbean scene. For example, the mural could illustrate ocean life in the Caribbean, a beach scene, or a typical street scene on one of the Caribbean islands, such as Cuba. Draw the design onto a grid. Divide a wall into sections, and assign each child a section of the wall to paint. Give each child a copy of the grid for them to use as a guideline. Children can also design the mural themselves, drawing the design on the wall in pencil, before filling it in with paint.