I met with youth from Viewmont Elementary School in Murray once a week between October 2011 and January 2012. Students were chosen from the sixth grade classes of the school as well as from the population of youth receiving special education services. As the ability levels of the students involved in the project were very diverse, I developed a project to allow all the youth to express themselves and make a valuable contribution.
I taught the youth about the modernist art movement of the early twentieth century, and how it transitioned into the abstract expressionist art movement, creating artists such as Jackson Pollock who created art by splatter-painting. I also taught the youth about Eric Carle, a youth who grew up in Nazi Germany and learned the value of free self-expression which he used later in life to design beautiful children’s books using collages of splattered and scribbled papers.
The youth then spent the next few weeks using techniques such as splattering, scribbling and sgraffito to create dynamic textures on colored papers which they used to create collages of the alphabet. Those collages were then printed onto ceramic tiles using a service called Change Your Art. The tiles were installed in a mural at Cricket Care, the Murray School District’s daycare center benefiting teen parents. I also worked with the youth to assemble the mosaic border surrounding the tiles.
On Friday, March 23rd at 4:00pm an unveiling was held at Cricket Care to celebrate the youths’ accomplishments in completing this mural.
See also the Press Release at the Murray School District website, adapted from my project description.
This project was made possible by a grant from Art Access, in cooperation with VSA Arts Utah and the Utah State Office of Education Special Education Services Unit.