Queen Palmer Integrated Student Mega Mural.

Art Discipline: Visual Arts

The idea of making a permanent art instillation piece initiated last year when I attended a weekend Community Built Association (CBA) workshop seminar. I learned about community projects, collaborating public works and networking with non-profit organizations. Sometime after taking the workshop, I was approached by a community member from New Song Church during a hosted teacher luncheon. One of the church members asked me, if I had thought about making a mural on a south-side wall of the school along Cache La Poudre? I thought about it and realized that the timing of the proposition, after completing the CBA seminar, was too coincidental. I immediately contacted Steve Wood, head director of Concrete Couch, a local non-profit community artist I had met during the weekend workshop. After discussing the question of whether to create a painted mural or a ceramic mural? It made only more sense to make a ceramic mural in which I had had some previous exposure and experience with. After meeting with all parties concerned, I formed a collaborative agreement with Concrete Couch after seeking out a possible way to fund the ceramic mural project. Being a member of Colorado Art Education Association (CAEA) in the past, I was familiar with Think 360 Arts and the role the organization had in promoting art through public education and the community. I applied for a grant and submitted my plans and proposal, outlining the intensions of the project. To start, teachers assigned students vocabulary words based on their grade level and tasked each student to draw an image, reflecting a visual meaning of the word. Kindergarten was the only grade level to primarily focus on the alphabet, upper and lower case letters with an image or symbol. Students were given a demonstration on each step and phase of the project to include additive and subtractive applications for relief sculpture. After clay tiles were created, tiles were bisque fired to cone 05. Students and staff then began staining and clear glazing all the tiles for a final cone 5 glaze firing. Tiles were made during and after school. Art club was used to create the large tiles with the assistance of Concrete Couch, staff and parent involvement. Once all of the production ended, we began shifting to the construction phases of hanging the tiles using mortar. Once the tiles were hung, we began the grouting stage. The only setbacks to the project were inconsistency among volunteer support or delays due to weather. A lot of long hours, time, effort and hard work went into the making this project. Some staff and volunteers put in more time than others. In summary, the construction of the project followed the original design with a few alterations. Productivity on a scale of 1 to 10, this project was a 9. Many students, staff and parents have expressed their gratitude in being able to be apart of this experience along with others who have commented positively on the finished project. All Colorado Visual Art Standards were covered. Students created learning packets, complete with designs, practice and written reflection of the project phases. Standards summarized under the project include: Know/Comprehend, Create, Perform/Present, Refine/Critique. The visual art standards covered and integrated other disciplines across the curriculum, connecting science, technology, engineering and math to real world learning. Students were engaged and exposed to all the processes of an instillation project; the final result: “The Queen Palmer Integrated Student Mega Mural”.

Project Images