Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

The Art of Celebrating School

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

The Art of Celebrating School

Article excerpt

Few activities bring students, parents, school staff, businesses, and community partners together with as much joy as creating a work of art. As a collaborative artist, I have had the opportunity to work with schools and communities across several states to create art works as varied as a life-size metal buffalo, a limestone sign decorated with student-created water creatures, and a bell tower. Working together on student-directed art builds strong bonds across the community.

Recycling local materials and using local talents both endows works with greater meaning and helps minimize costs.

Projects begin with an initial brainstorming session with students and parents. Their ideas are used to develop the design concept, with student drawings and paintings highlighted. Students build the artwork, working side by side with parents and friends. They participate in the collaborative process and see it evolve into a work of art that becomes part of the history of the school. The Artisticat project shown here is an example of the process.

Artisticat, 2010

Fairview Elementary School Mascot

Media: new and used steel, aluminum, glass, marble, acrylic paint, vinyl lettering

Size: 12'6" (H) by 12'0" (L) by 3'0" (W)

In spring 2010, the original Fairview Elementary School building in Bloomington, Ind. …

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