Monday, October 12, 2009

Wall Art

The cave dwellers figured it out over 17, 000 years ago.  Tell your story by drawing or painting on a wall.

So, it took a few thousand years or so, eventually it caught on.  Let's face it, you can't drive down a city street today without noticing wall art.  Whether it's there to advertise a restaurant, a parking lot, decorate a skate park wall, create a scene on a neighborhood market wall (think Roosevelt Market), or an alley full of graffiti, it's a way of telling or selling a story. And it's here to stay.

This week at the East End Art Studio, we'll be telling our story in much the same way.  The cave dwellers told us that animals were essential to their existence.  From those drawings and a basic understanding of paleolithic times, we know their drawings of bison, horses and deer provided valuable information about who these people were and what was important to them.  We'll be discussing some of those very same things in the East End Art Studio this week.

Students will be asked these questions once when they get settled in to the studio:

"If you were given a brick wall in Boise, to draw and paint images of things that are important to you, what would you include?"

'What could you draw on a wall that might provide clues about our culture?"

"Suppose 17,000 years from now people looked at these walls, what would they be able to learn about us?"

Using chalk pastels and brown construction paper,  students will create a wall painting.  Brown construction paper will be folded in quarters horizontally to provide the basis for a brickwork background.  Students will determine what they feel is essential to their everyday lives and create a drawing by blending colorful pastels of their choice.  The folded lines will provide a guide for creating a  brick background for their "wall art".

I'll be posting a variety of our studio created "graffiti" over the next few days! The children came  up with a broad range of ideas of people, places and things that are important to them - things that reveal as much about our culture as the animal drawings in the caves of Lascaux.

If you found a little pastel dust on your children's clothes this past week, it means they really threw themselves into this project! It  gave them an opportunity to learn about how people began communicating thousands of years ago and how we still continue to tell our story as people of the 21st century.   Their "wall/graffiti" drawings will be coming home in their portfolios sometime soon.  Make sure to take a minute and let them know what a great job they did!