Collaborative chalk mural brings us together.
We have been participating in a local city chalk art celebration for several years. It supports a local organization which support students with funding and scholarships to continue to go to college or to supply arts educators much needed supplies. The Thea Foundation was created by two parents who lost a talented artist daughter named Thea. Her legacy lives on every day in the hearts and minds of young artists and dedicated arts educators.
I love participating in this event because it's our first public art collab. It starts with the first art club meeting when we decide a theme and brainstorm visual imagery to support the theme. I let my student art club directors take the lead and I support them by moving the idea along. I am lucky to have a well-trained and dedicated student leader, Junior Celia Kreth, for year two. She was trained by her older sister, Gracie, who ran the art club before her for two years. I strive to have the current leader mentor another future leader as the second year begins. This helps maintain consistency and a lot less training on the spot from year to year. The student leaders, Celia Kreth and Sophmore Bella Marbaise, feel much more in control of the group and step-up in wonderful unique ways, with their own ambitions, to help the art club be engaged in the school and greater community.
Our theme this year was "Unity" and we had all of our members draw up many variations on the theme but we had lots of images that overlapped. I needed someone to pull all the concepts together to help tell our story and support the theme. Junior Madison Dixon was excited to contribute to the project but would not be able to attend the actual chalk mural event so she volunteered to pour over all the students ideas to create a cohesive design.
We combined our ideas with the lower school and middle school students to create one large design. It was a hot sunny day and we had some students arrive early but needed to leave midway to attend other responsibilities so our students needed to work together to finish the final design.
We had students stop and evaluate the mural while it was evolving and they checked in on one another to see if they needed help. The communication was between the art students of all ages was supportive and helpful. Mrs. Higgins and Ms. McSpadden and I made sure students took water breaks and sat in the shade for a breather. I love that we had photographers pop by and ask to take photos of our students at work. You could see the pride each student had in the mural. We overheard comments about all the different world flags we added and the wonderful hot air balloons created by our youngest artists. I love all of it but I was mostly struck by the students at the end that suggested that they hold hands around the globe for a group photo. Right then and there, I realized they truly understood the purpose of the mural and the meaning of our theme. "Unity/United". I could have not been proud.