Noyo and Lighthouse High Schools in Ft Bragg are alternatives to the traditional Ft Bragg High School. The campus is small, with portable modules surrounding a courtyard. The complex is surrounded by chain link fencing that gives the school a harsh institutional look.
At the school's request, we were invited in to undertake an experimental mural project. The focus was to transform the fence and change the look of the school. The idea was an abstract exploration of oceans using a large-scale, open process that all students could be involved in. We explored the flow of water. Painting was done with acrylic paints on large sheets of tyvek--a very strong, flexible surface. The paintings would later by cut up and woven directly into the chain link fence.
Together with 40 some students, we spent a bright afternoon working outside to create the mural panels. The process was fun, lively, blustery and satisfying. We used long-handled rollers, and brushes, and bright acrylic paints. Everyone got involved. From set up to clean up, the day was fun and the results were great. A few days later, we cut up the paintings into long strips and woven three panels directly into the chain link fence in front of the school.
It definitely changed the look of thing. Now rather than a barrier, the fence is transformed with an intriguing splash of color and line.
The process worked well...the students had fun with the painting process and the weaving was a satisfying joint effort.
We learned some good things and there are a lot of chair link fences out in the world just waiting to be transformed.