Redwood School in Ft Bragg is always lively with 450 children from kindergarten to second grade, but this week also includes 80 feet of canvas, a rainbow of acrylic paint, markers, salvaged shapes, odd materials, fruits and vegetables. With support of the AD Abramson Grant for Public Art through the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, this ambitious project will involve all 450 children in creating a permanent mural installation for the school’s Multi-purpose Cafeteria.
BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE is the theme, exploring a child’s learning from basic shapes like circles and triangles, to complex rhythms of earth, sea and sky and people’s relations to the world-at-large. The garden is “painted” with real fruits and vegetables; leaves, stamps, shells, string, toys, q-tips and other unusual elements help create the mural's story of life and learning!
Small groups of children come in a classroom transformed into an artist’s studio; they spend 20 minutes working with patterns, colors and shapes. Denise Vicars, Parent Club President, organized parent helpers who escort children in, get smocks on, stand back as kids paint and then get everyone clean and back to class. After two weeks on campus, Self will evolve the work laid down with the kids into the completed Mural installation.
Says Artist Janet Self, “The children come in focused, ready to jump right! We aren’t painting in familiar ways; instead of brushes, the mural’s garden is "planted” using carrots, apples or cabbages and a forest is made with leaves, branches or straws. Images are vivid and fun to see what these things “make”! “ Keith Wyner, a 35 year veteran teacher and avid photographer, pops in to photograph children-in-action for a project book; printed ART CARDS will add support for the school’s creative work.
FLOCKworks' brings creativity to schools, events and partners with many different groups in the community. This project captures all that: a Community Foundation grant, great school support, wonderful parents and creative fun with the kids. It celebrates life and learning in a great way!. The project is expected to be complete by March.