Constructing a Story: Contemporary Identity Portrait Inquiry (Lesson Sharing)

I will introduce a project that enables students to look for the deeper meaning in portraits and especially to think about what an artist can do to provide insight into themselves as they create self-portraits. The students reflected on their own qualities and attitudes and started to think deeply about themselves. It is important for students, to become more aware of their personal and public selves. This project leads students to examine who they are and who they want to be as well as how they want the world to know them.  

This project addresses 4 questions as to how and why artists create and use creative visuals to express their thoughts and or ideas: How can you create a self-portrait that tells a story? How does an artist synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art? How do artists develop ideas and understandings of society, culture, and history through their interactions with and analysis of art? How do artists contribute to awareness and understanding of their lives and the lives of their communities through art-making? 

This lesson is complex and has been created for a senior art class (Art Studio 11 and 12).  I will also introduce other project ideas that can be used at any Grade level.

To Bring/Important Notes

Participants can come prepared with a sketchbook and basic art supplies if they want to explore any of the ideas introduced.  Also if you have any portrait lessons that you may want to share with the group, please bring them.


1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

This session is full.


  • Sofia Trujillo

    I've been an Art Educator for the Surrey School District since 2001.  I'm currently teaching Visual Arts at Ecole Salish Secondary.  Before then I was teaching at Frank Hurt Secondary and North Surrey Secondary.  I've been very lucky to be (and have been) Fine Arts Department Head for 15 years.  Working with other Fine Arts areas in creating collaboration opportunities is one of my passions.  I've also had the opportunity to mentor new teachers for the district, as well as for SFU and UBC.  I have taught many workshops at district and provincial conferences.  I just recently completed a series of workshops for Surrey Elementary teachers as part of the Arts Education team.  I'm also a member and President of the Surrey Arts Teachers Association, as well as the Graduation Years Curriculum Rep for the BCATA. At home, I try to continue my art practice, but in reality, spend as much time as I can with my family.