SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2008

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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Fence Mural Cares, enlarged the students' drawings by eye from 18" (46 cm) to 60" (152 cm) to fit the wall. We also had our after-school art club draw neighborhood landmarks and the subjects they study in school. Another teacher, Peter Koban, drew the signage at the beginning of the mural. All of this preparation was done in pencil first, then outlined with thick, black permanent marker. This preparation took about twenty-five to thirty hours. While we worked, people from the community stopped to help us sketch some of the drawings. It was wonderful to see the community getting involved this way. Completion of the Mural On the designated Saturday, all of the supplies were neatly arranged for easy access and the paints were poured into smaller containers for volunteers to use. Principal McHugh, teachers, and 105 Pace University students and professionals volunteered their time. It was quite a spectacle! Fiftyfive or so volunteers worked quietly and very intently on the mural. Each volunteer chose a self-portrait they wanted to paint. Each of the students' artwork was taped above the line drawings so the volunteers could follow the color scheme of the student's drawing as closely as possible. The volunteers were meticulous in trying to get the right color and paint the drawing as carefully as possible. Some even spent two-to-three hours on their piece! After lunch, the other half of the volunteers continued the finishing touches on the mural. All in all, it took about five hours to complete the mural. It was an amazing day and the result is beautiful beyond words. I think the world should know that good things can come out of the Bronx, especially when we all work together for a com- mon goal . . . a remarkably beautiful mural that acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of our school and community. Helen Graham Gurny is an art teacher at Public School 59 Community School, Bronx, New York. metart55@verizon.net NatioNal StaNdard Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning. Web liNk schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/10/ X059/default.htm 39

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