Arts Week 2011

Last year we had a big art exhibition to help our school celebrate its 70th anniversary. Even though this is just measly year 71, I thought having a big art exhibition would be a nice thing to have every year so I decided to implement Arts Week.

All the art teachers in the secondary department pooled our projects together to decorate the central assembly area of the school. Then we created a schedule for a collaborative mural project that would be painted by students grades 7-12. Throughout the week, this huge piece of canvas was taped to the floor of the assembly area and a variety of students added their personal touch to the theme ecology. I based most of this off of my memories of Fine Arts Week at West and how much I loved working on my ceramics in the Ash Street Entrance throughout the week. I wanted the rest of the school to have the chance to see the kids at work and enjoy the Arts.

Here is the first group as they started to design the mural.

Throughout the week lots of different students worked on the mural.

It was an interesting week to say the least. The students really started to get a feeling over ownership over the mural and were pretty frustrated when other students would work on it. Things got painted over…and then painted over again. There were some judgment calls made that others weren’t too happy with, etc. For the most part, I threw my 2 cents in and then stepped back to let them make their own decisions. I felt like working together and adjusting for different artistic styles was part of the learning process. Of course that means that the final mural is a bit random and maybe not as cohesive as it could have been, but that wasn’t really the point.

Added to the drama of a collaborative mural was the drama that is our school. Art is not really very prominent here at Colegio Americano and things tend to be extremely unorganized so although we created an invitation for all the teachers K-12 and gave it to administration to be sent out the week before Arts Week, it got sent to some of the teachers beforehand, some in the middle of the week, and some never at all. Publicity was not what I was hoping for and most of the support I got was from my friends, but for a first in a school where Art is back burner, I guess I’ll take what I can get. And either way, it made the beginning of May fly by and now we only have a few weeks left. Woohoo!

My students finished up the mural by adding a coat of acrylic gloss medium to it.
Now that it’s finished, it will be hung up in the counseling classroom!
This is how big it is (ignore the absurdity of my classroom windows…my room is currently wallpapered in posters about architecture).
Here are some close-ups:


One thought on “Arts Week 2011

  1. This is outstanding leadership. I'm so glad you haven't given up your goals and ideals simply because “art is a back burner” subject area. They've not only had a chance to be creative, but assume leadership, problem solve, collaborate, negotiate and that's ALL education. You are a fine teacher and I am very proud of you.
    Plus, the mural is really stunning. I only wish I was there so I could visit the entire exhibit.
    Great work, Sweetheart.


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