This is the ninth 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 the Surreal/Optical Fun Mural in the seventh grade hallway by the stairs. This one, the third, is on the wall separating the cafeteria kitchen from the cafeteria. It covers the wall between the “in” door and the “out” door for the cafeteria line.
The funny thing about murals within an institution is that once a few of them go up, individuals within the school begin to imagine how their space might be transformed with a mural. In this case, cafeteria manager Barbara Nyborn requested a mural and had a site all ready for it. She contacted me and I sent a small crew of artists to consult with her. Together they arrived at the idea of a fruit peddler’s cart filled with colorful wares.
Through this project the eighth grade artists considered perspective, color theory, and the discrete ideas of color juxtaposition. In the end the wall is pleasant and colorful, the fruit looks pretty delicious, and at just 50 cents a pound, who can resist it?