The Smithsonian documentary, titled “Picturing the Obamas,” premiered earlier this month and chronicles how different cities that hosted the portraits responded to the art and the Obamas’ legacy.
All fifth grade students in Atlanta Public Schools, plus students from Howard, visited the High Museum when the portraits were in Atlanta, according to a district statement. The field trips were supported by the Zeist Foundation, the district said.
A clip of the documentary released by APS includes interviews of Howard art students and officials from the Atlanta University Center and the museum.
In the segment, Howard’s art teacher, Mandy Lebowitz, discusses the significance of the paintings and the opportunity for her students to see them in person.
“There is nothing like the whole entire experience of walking through a gallery space,” she says in the footage.
Students marvel at the portraits and speak with pride about painting their own portraits.
“I like that it doesn’t have to be perfect and I want them to see what kind of person I am,” Howard Middle School student Sheena Hawkins says of her self-portrait.
Two episodes of the documentary are available for online streaming.