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Once Upon A Time Eight – Art Club Murals 2

This is the eighth in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. These art projects are just a memory now, and I believe they are worth remembering and preserving. The first post in the series can be found here, and the rest of them follow. Simply search Once Upon A Time in the categories on the front page of the blog.

The Art Club murals were completed during the 2008/9 school year, one hour each week after school. When I think about the time constraints within that last sentence, I can’t help but be impressed by the work of the seventh and eighth grade students that year. The murals featured in this Art Club Murals series were the brainstorm of small groups of middle school artists who developed and executed them from idea to fruition. The first is the Lost & Found mural located in a former closet across from the cafeteria. The second is this one, the Surreal/Optical Fun Mural in the seventh grade hallway by the stairs.

The artists working on this space wanted to bring a strong, vibrant theme to this corner space. They viewed the other murals around the school and decided to do something very different. They wanted people to walk through this space and be compelled to consider the surreal and optical events they had created within the mural. I believe they succeeded.

A art teacher’s note about this mural – when I compare the quality of paint between this, one of our final murals, and the Rainbow Mural, well, there is no comparison. The colors in this paint were vibrant, rich, and opaque, requiring two coats at most. The brand we used was Artista Acrylic Paint, which I bought by the gallon. This brand is no longer sold.

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Once Upon A Time Seven – Art Club Murals 1

This is the seventh in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. These art projects are just a memory now, and I believe they are worth remembering and preserving. The first post in the series can be found here, and the rest of them follow. Simply search Once Upon A Time in the categories on the front page of the blog.

The Art Club murals were completed during the 2008/9 school year, one hour each week after school. When I think about the time constraints within that last sentence, I can’t help but be impressed by the work of the seventh and eighth grade students that year. The murals featured in this Art Club Murals series were the brainstorm of small groups of middle school artists who developed and executed them from idea to fruition. The first is the Lost & Found mural located in a former closet across from the cafeteria.

The artists working on this space decided to reflect the rural communities of Mendon and Upton by creating a barn/field scene within the mural. I remember working with them on one-point perspective as they tried to make the fence look realistic. Everything else from the almost obligatory sun-in-the-corner to the color palette were pure middle school invention. After the mural was complete, I remember times when there were so many coats and backpacks in the space you couldn’t even see the artwork. But, in the spirit of form follows function, that’s okay!

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Once Upon A Time Six – Welcome to Miscoe Rainbow Mural

This is the sixth in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. These art projects are just a memory now, and I believe they are worth remembering and preserving. The first post in the series can be found here, and the rest of them follow. Simply search Once Upon A Time in the categories on the front page of the blog.

This is the first mural we undertook in the Leave Your Mark exploratory class during the 2006/2007 school year. I remember planning the mural to purposely work in a pretty quiet place that had few interruptions during the day. There were also no classes nearby, so we had the place to ourselves. This is the ramp leading from where the buses dropped off (that sight has since been moved) into the school. It seemed a perfect place for a welcome mural and a cheerful rainbow to follow up the ramp.

Since this was our first mural, I wasn’t yet taking chances and designed it and sketched it out so all the students had to do was the painting. We used a regular school supply acrylic paint that was unfortunately not nearly opaque enough, necessitating several coats. This is the last time we used this brand.  It was an easy mural to keep lots of painters busy at the same time. It was fun and a really different activity for the kids. This mural was also glazed with a gloss medium to make it last for eternity.

 

 

 

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Once Upon A Time Five – The Rainforest Mural

This is the fifth in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. These art projects are just a memory now, and I believe they are worth remembering and preserving. The first post in the series can be found here, and the rest of them follow. Simply search Once Upon A Time in the categories on the front page of the blog.

For the 2008/2009 school year, eighth grade stayed at the middle school, rather than going to the high school. The eighth grade teachers who had been at the high school were moved to the middle school. Sadly, I lost a beloved colleague to the redistribution. The specialists had met with the assistant superintendent the year before to petition for a change in our schedule. We felt that students viewed our classes as breaks or recess from their academic classes and therefore didn’t take the specials seriously. We felt that by meeting more frequently, students would consider their electives as “real” subjects, and we educators knew we would have a better chance of reaching them.

We were granted our request that seventh and eighth grade meet three times per cycle rather than two times per cycle. Grades five and six retained the former schedule. During this time we ran the seventh and eighth grade electives as true electives and I offered 2Dimensional Art and 3Dimensional Art for seventh grade and Art Through Art Movements and Fiber Arts for eighth grade. I am not sure how we ended up doing the Rainforest mural this year, because it doesn’t fit with the curriculum offered. perhaps the students who had painted murals in sixth and seventh grade continued during  Art Club, project block or other times throughout the day. I honestly don’t remember.

One group of very talented students came up with an idea for the large wall along the ramp to the green wing. This was spearheaded by the same girls who had painted the daycare mural, Kelsey Campbell and Kendal Till. Kelsey and Kendall recruited several friends to help with the mural.

Rainforest Mural Artists

The Rainforest mural was well done and well-loved by the Miscoe Hill community. When finished, it was glazed with gloss medium to last for eternity. Here are some more photos:

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Once Upon A Time Four – Little Learners Under-The-Sea Mural

This is the fourth in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. These art projects are just a memory now, and I believe they are worth remembering. The first post in the series can be found here, the second here, and third here.

Our school schedule included exploratory blocks from 2006/7 and 2007/8 along with regular specials. During this time I offered a class called Leave Your Mark in which we painted murals on the walls around the school. In the spring of 2007, I was approached by our school daycare manager about a big, blank wall they wanted to cover with a mural. I asked a few of my most talented and trustworthy sixth grade students if they would be interested in designing a mural for the space. Of course they were excited and eagerly went to consult with the daycare about imagery. They decided on an Under-The-Sea theme and quickly drew up plans for the colorful mural. They worked during project blocks and other times around the babies’ napping schedule and by the end of the school year it was complete. This mural was also glazed to last for eternity. Here are some photos of the artists and their amazing mural:

Hannah Prescott, Jess Melanson, Kendal Till, Kelsey Campbell

The daycare mural

The artists with the daycare kids – 2007

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Once Upon A Time Three – Ceiling Tile Murals

This is the third in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. The first post in the series can be found here and the second here.

During the two years we ran exploratory blocks from 2006/7 and 2007/8 along with regular specials. During this time I offered a class called Leave Your Mark in which we painted murals on the walls around the school. Eventually we used most of the available walls and ended up painting ceiling tiles instead. These ceiling tiles were designed and painted by 7th grade students to place in the 7th grade hallway. When considering the subject matter for the walls, someone came up with the idea of “things falling from the sky”. As with the other projects, students worked in groups or pairs to design an idea for a tile. Once approved, they got to work painting the tiles in the art room for later installation in the hallway. This is a great way to make your mark in an easy, controlled way, all within the confines of the art room.

 

Students had a fun time considering logical and completely illogical scenarios of “things falling from the sky” including pigs (when pigs fly), and Batman, school bus, giraffe, clown, monkey, candy, pizza, balloons, blimp, space station, ufo, angels, palm tree with coconuts, fish, skydiver, etc. Here are some photos of the ceiling tiles:

When the school was painted and tiles replaced a few years ago, we were able to salvage the ceiling tiles, and they now reside in the art room. We like them there.

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Once Upon A Time Two: Miscoe Hill’s Robert Indiana Murals

This is the second in a series of Legacy Posts about projects that happened early on in my art classroom. Recently I was able to tap into some archived photos that I thought had long ago disappeared. I’ve decided to write some blog posts incorporating these photos to share the memories and/or inspire others to try these projects. Some are very dear to me because I took risks with my students and the end result was big learning for all of us, especially me. Also, in my nineteenth year of teaching now, I realize that ideas, projects, and programs come and go, and sometimes come back again. The first post in the series can be found here.

During the 2008/9 school year, my 7th and 8th grade art classes met three times in a 3-day cycle and were offered as true separate focus electives. One of the electives was Art Through Art Movements, where the projects were developed based on periods in art history. One such project were murals we painted throughout the school following Robert Indiana‘s block letters and hard edges from the Pop Art movement.

Eighth grade students worked in cooperative learning groups to brainstorm possible inspirational words and then chose one to develop into a design for a wall. The words they chose were Create, Pride, Faith, Dream, Strive, Peace, Brave, Learn, Give, and Inspire. Working groups then had to design color combinations to empower the words further.

The murals were painted in acrylic in quiet hallways in the eighth grade wing and were finished with a coat of clear gloss medium to preserve them for eternity.

Here are the photos of the murals and of the students painting the murals:

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