With a couple of the projects, we have been able to work with every student on campus and had each of them contribute something permanent to the school that they can take pride in presently and hopefully in the future as well. Others have been special projects with our "graduating" 5th graders, that the younger kids look forward to participating in when they reach 5th grade.
I think everyone involved enjoys working on these projects because of how it enhances the school site and the fact that it gets us out of the classroom and in the sun that is in abundance here in San Diego.
The first one that we did was a mosaic that is approximately 15 feet long. We chose to do a mosaic to emphasize our clay program and to get as many students involved as possible. Students cut slabs into tiles, glazed the individual tiles, and mounted them to the wall. I came up with the design. Pretty simple and straightforward, but an effective showing of growth and cause and effect in art. Ms. Danielle, Ms. Kathi, and Mr. Eddie were key contributers in completing this mosaic.
The next one we did was even longer. Close to 35 feet in length. The design was more freeform. We used it as a fundraiser to support our art program. Families could select an underwater creature to purchase and their student would then glaze the creature tile and mount it to the wall. The art team wrote each of the students' names on the tiles they did. This project took us nearly 2 years to complete. Ms. Danielle, Mr. Eddie, and myself were all doing more college coursework at the time, so our hours were more limited at the school site. Ms. Kathi and Ms. Danielle did the brunt of the organizing of and working with kids that were glazing animals. When this was completed, the art team agreed to take a break from the mosaic process for a bit:)
The next project we did was a painted mural. It was completed with only the assistance of 5th graders and other teachers. I came up with the concept and mapped it out on the wall and the students did most of the painting. Compared to the mosaic process, this was completed in the blink of an eye. From drawing it out on the wall to the final brush stroke, it took us a week and a day. The mural serves as a bright, colorful welcome to our school as it faces the street and our main parking lot.
Last year the 5th graders did relief sculptures based on the work of Louise Nevelson. That sculpture was installed with the help of 5th graders this year. Those same 5th grade classes will be doing a painted mural at the end of this year as well. I think we are all looking forward to doing another one.