SchoolArts Magazine

MAR 2013

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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Middle School Studio Lesson MurAlS Paint a Community Tom Wagner M cepts. We've investigated such conural making has been a cepts as environment, nature, music, continual interest with fantasy, exploration, structure, and my students especially identity. The most successful projects at the middle-school reflect students' own experiences, level. They are attracted by the achievements, intercamaraderie of effort involved, and revel in Students easily become ests, and goals. The greater the the aspect of public engaged with group group's familiarity display. Students easwork and cooperating with murals, the ily become engaged activities that highlight higher their individwith group work and cooperating activithe social aspect of art. ual and group focus will be. We begin ties that highlight the each project with as much discussion social aspect of art. The teacher's role and research as possible. Students who as organizer will ensure participation may have limited interactions with by each member of the group. wall painting and public art benefit During brainstorming and planning sessions with students, I begin by from visiting local murals and viewing a variety of examples in the classasking them to come up with themes and to propose several preplanned con- room. 40 March 2013 SchoolArts The History of Mural Making Communicating the long history of mural making is best done by providing PowerPoint presentations, DVDs, YouTube videos, and stills of our legacy in the field. Students research, analyze, and write about several historic examples, such as the Lascaux cave paintings, the Sistine Chapel, and the work of artists Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. A Very Special Invitation We were recently invited to join a handful of other area schools in contributing to a public art project for Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The "Hello and Welcome!" project is a permanent mural at the United States Customs and Border

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