Students come in to work on the project in numbers that allow them to gather around the mural, whatever shape it is. This is likely no more than 8 students at a time, perhaps fewer depending on the shape that suits its final installation. We paint the mural collectively, starting with students drawing flowers. Everyone knows how to draw flowers and they are an important motif in Yukon art. The flowers can have faces or fangs, and some other bits and pieces might sneak in. After the surface is covered with the drawings, we paint it in gel, green and white, then start to layer glazes – first a red glaze to neutralize the green, then blue in the background, then a warm glaze in the foreground. We then add bright opaque colours to the flowers, and if there is time, add transparent glazes over those colours to deepen them. This part can go back and forth as long as there’s time, each group looking at the mural and thinking about what might make it even better. We can also incorporate words in the design, and in the past work has featured words in the local First Nations language. Clearcoating and installation is usually managed by the teachers at the school due to limits in Artist in the School hours. Please note that we would need to set up the studio ahead of time. In general, this project takes prep hours in addition to the hours directly in the classroom.
|Grade Suitability||All grade levels but K – and maybe 1 depending on their skill level should work with a buddy.|
|Maximum Class Size||Groups of approx 8 students|
|Time Required||To be determined by project.|
|Material Required||Floor or table covering in a room to be devoted to the mural for its painting process, well primed crezone boards (about 11 square feet for a 2.5 day mural, longer for larger), professional quality acrylic paint and gel medium (consult with Nicole, she may be able to provide this), clear coat, with an extra layer if the mural is to be installed outdoors, class set of brushes, (square bristle brushes: ¾ inch and ¼ inch, detail brushes), containers, containers with lids, paper towels, pencils.|
|Material Cost||Based on project.|
|Language of Instruction||English|
|Special Notes||This can easily be adapted to a more advanced project for older grades.|
Nicole Bauberger is a storyteller, painter, writer and arts educator. She educated herself through collaborations and apprenticeships with other artists and loves to bring the advantages of these unique learning opportunities to schools, continuing to learn from the collaborative adventures undertaken with students. She has taught art both at the University level as well as to five year olds. For four years she created murals with students in Ontario High Schools through the Ontario Artists in Education Program. Her work can often be seen at Arts Underground and the Yukon Artists @ Work Gallery.