In conjunction with the mural we've been planning, conceptualizing and working to create for months, we have worked on a unit on Street art, Mural Art and public projects, discussing the ideas surrounding art and social justice. Some of the questions we've been mulling over have been: What is the role of artists' in the community?Can art create positive change in a community? And, if so, just how much? We have studied the work of the Philadelphia Mural Project, with the 7th graders creating Pecha Kucha presentations (just one of 3) that were presented to younger students. We watched the ted talk by Haas and Hahn, Dutch Artists who transformed a community in Rio, as well as explored the ideas surrounding street art by being introduced to the works of Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen and Swoon.
And recently, we have created some work called the One Word Project: IF you could replace your name with a word that would best describe your ideal self, what would it be? We studied grafitti lettering, fonts and styles and then created works in their own styles. Some students channeled their light hearted silly and others really went deep. Whatever the case, the idea of "voice and being heard," which is a huge component of community based art, shines through. Below are a few examples of 6th grade work. The seventh graders are still wrapping up their's as they incorporated portraits (selfies) and used paint. Stay tuned!