Theresa Jacobs portrays her culture through art

Throughout years of teaching art, Tess Jacob’s art is remembered by her students.One particular year she gave the assignment for students to create a self portrait with clay; one half representing their personal culture and the other representing a culture they wish to partake in.

Her clay portrait is very personal of her family’s history. One half shows her dad’s heritage from Holland, where her family has cultivated a tulip farm for more than 400 years. She shows this by tulip petals in place of hair.

Her mom’s heritage comes from Hungary, which she uses a functioning cabinet [as they were cabinet makers] on the back of the sculptures neck.

“I wanted to live in a culture where they’re more from the heart, instead of the head,” Jacobs said. To show this, she created a scarring of dots linking the mind and heart, essentially connecting all the interpretations of her piece.

This assignment was intended to help kids develop an understanding of where they came from and who they want to be. Art gives students as well as teachers the opportunity to experiment with different mediums but also learn something about themselves.