SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 42 of 62

38 APRIL 2019 SchoolArts I t's starting to get dark and we've been working on this small Tape Art mural for almost an hour. It's the fourth one of the day and the twelfth one so far this week. The irony of this mural is that we are working on the side of a local middle school, drawing a drone with a spray paint can attached to it and paint - ing an image of an elephant. We are technically doing graffiti about drones doing graffiti on the side of a school building. And everyone in town loves it. A Public Art Residency The location is Canadian, Texas, a Panhandle town with 2,600 inhabit- ants that takes its name from the nearby Canadian River. The town's civic pride expresses itself in a rodeo stadium, the renovation of historic main street buildings, and a high school noted statewide for its football, band, and theater. Nestled at the center of the town is the innovative Citadelle Art Foundation, whose director, Wendie Cook, has made it her mission to bring high-quality art experiences to the Texas Panhandle. She has presented exhibits of Art Nouveau, the art of the Western paperback, Rube Goldberg, Marc Chagall, and an exquisite collection of Rembrandt etchings with offerings of workshops to neighboring schools. In Texas, a "neighbor" can often mean a two- hour drive one way. Director Cook's most recent vision was to introduce street art to the community, perhaps a tough sell in a town where the only graffiti is where the train bridge crosses the river on the outskirts of town. Our Tape Art mural on the fa├žade of the Brooks Museum in Memphis, Ten - nessee, caught her eye, and an email and phone call later, we were hatch - ing a plan for a public art residency. The goal of this project was to give every single resident of Canadian the opportunity to either see a Tape Art drawing or directly participate in one's creation. The Tape Art Crew The Tape Art Crew gave birth to the process of drawing collaboratively with tape and has worked exclusively with the medium for more than twenty-five years. The origins of the medium's application can be traced back to a collection of nightly tape drawings made on sidewalks, court - yards, public spaces, and abandoned buildings throughout Providence, Rhode Island, starting in the late 80s. To this day, the tradition of drawing collaboratively at life-size and with an intention of removing the work after its completion continue to be some of the trademarks of Tape Art. Act One The first act of the plan was surpris- ing the town with seventeen tem- porary mini-murals on a variety of walls around town so that, unless you walked around with your eyes closed, you would eventually see one. People were reportedly spending A L L L E V E L S Michael Townsend and Leah Smith evenings and time on the weekend driving or walking around town to find every drawing and sharing their findings with friends and family. Act Two The second act involved a mara- thon twelve days of collaborative mural-making and workshops for students from elementary school to high school, both in Canadian and surrounding towns. Students made murals on the walls of their schools, as well as in public spaces where the community could watch ith TAPE

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