ARTIST IN EDUCATION

Painted mural 1988 Norcoss, Georgia

This 8 ft. x 16 ft. mural was completed at Peachtree Elementary School, Norcross, Georgia in 1988.

300+ kids in the 4th and 5th grades contributed their drawings and ideas.

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From a newspaper interview of a fourth grader, Andy:

"I like the part where we were working on where everything would go. I'll bet you it was a lot of work for him because he had to fit all those ideas in."

 

It was memorable. My wife, Carolyne, taught there. She organized the classes. Scheduling is critical during an artist-in-residence because the time is so tight during the school day. This took six weeks, rotating kids in and out. The school was a wonderful place to work. Just look at the joy of living and innocent enthusiasm for world peace. The theme was popular at that time, "We are the world."

 

I taught them some of the history of murals from cave paintings to recent times. They got the ideas and made drawings. "Draw what you know!" I told them.

 

I cut and pasted the best parts and projected the collage on to the panels. It was originally twice as long but time and money were short. They traced the design and painted in shifts.

 

My stratedgy was to have as many kids with a hand in the creation as possible. Later, over the years, when hundreds of them would eventually line up as they passed the mural they would feel ownership of the wall and keep it clean. It worked.