Let’s Make Art with Words and Colors August 25, 2020

Create your own masterpiece by combining vibrant words and colors! This family-friendly art activity is inspired by Wadsworth Jarrell’s Revolutionary, on view in the exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.

About the Artist
Georgia native Wadsworth Jarrell (born 1929) moved to Chicago following his time in the U.S. Army, where he had become the company artist for his unit. The painter, sculptor, and co-founder of AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) took his first art classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he later earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1968, he and other Chicago artists—Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and Gerald Williams—founded AfriCOBRA to galvanize pride in the Black community.

About Revolutionary
Jarrell’s work draws inspiration from African cultural traditions, Black American culture, and jazz musicians. For Revolutionary, he combined vibrant words like “love,” “beautiful,” “black,” and “revolution” to create an energized portrait of political activist Angela Davis, based on a photograph from an impassioned speech Davis gave in 1970.

Exploring How Artists Use Words and Colors in Art
Create your own work of art! What words and colors will you combine to form your picture and kaleidoscope of colors? Get inspired by visiting Revolutionary in person, in the galleries of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, on view through August 30. Then follow along with the video and helpful how-to guide developed by MFAH teaching artist Melissa Aytenfisu.

► Download the activity guide

Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from the Jerold B. Katz Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; H-E-B; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Sharon G. Dies; Sterling-Turner Foundation; Houston Junior Woman's Club; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Susan Vaughan Foundation; and additional generous donors.

“Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” is organized by Tate Modern, London, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Broad, Los Angeles; and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Major support provided by:


Additional generous support provided by:
The African American Art Advisory Association (5A) at the MFAH