This spring our 8th graders have worked on a collaborative, clay tile mural that has been installed on an exterior wall of the school entrance as a gift to the school and community. The students worked with local artist Randy Fein and their art teacher in order to create a piece of artwork which incorporates the natural beauty of our community and the environment.
Each student had to brainstorm ideas for their contribution then sketch those ideas on paper several times. After the students developed their ideas, they discussed where the images should be placed on the mural. They created a paper template to work from in which they placed their drawings while discussing placement. The students rolled out slabs of clay in order to create the 45”x45” mural base. Once the base was complete, they produced their contribution for the mural which has an “oceanic” theme and added them to the base. Grace Cody was excited to design the compass rose in the center. She thought that made a solid centerpiece that required many layers to complete.
The entire piece was cut into many pieces and fired in the kiln over the course of two weeks. The students used powdered pigment from the south of France that Randy Fein shared with them.
The overarching goal of this project was for the students to make connections to our diverse, colorful, rich environment and to draw inspiration from their community while building confidence and learning the importance of voice.
Eighth grader Kyle Arey said, “We are proud to leave this mural as a gift to the school and hopefully we can show it to our children someday.”
—Julie Ryan, Art teacher, K-8, St. George School
PHOTO: Sonja Schmanska