Jones Elementary has a group of after school Art Historians and Artists! Ms. Tara, the Volunteer Coordinator and Project POWER/AmeriCorps member serving at Jones, doubles as the groups Art History teacher!
Every Thursday for the last couple weeks the group has been meeting, looking at slides with big eyes, learning about artists and their work, making observations and critiques and even getting their hands a bit messy with paint and pastels!
Marc Chagall, a Russian born artist that primarily practiced in Paris, served as inspiration for the group when they embarked on a mural project recently. Students flipped through slides, studying the interesting ways Chagall utilized color, dismantled gravity and infused his work with dream-like scenes and personal symbols. Once the major points had been discussed inside the students moved outside, here they explained to each other their own symbols for fellow classmates, their school and families. Then a group of thirteen kindergarten, first and second graders divided the mural into color sections, working together in teams to complete the painting.
The finished project is a vision inspired by Chagall that demonstrates what the class thought was most meaningful. Students unanimously agreed that life, love, friendship and their families should be represented. Life is symbolized in the red tree that becomes a girl with blue and purple hair. Love is embodied in the flowers found on the tree, while the boy sitting in profile represents the class. The rainbow running along the upper reaches of the mural is their interpretation of friendship, the upside down house encapsulates the idea of family and home. Finally, the yellow sky with stars and a moon reference the dream-like trance Chagall often evoked. The students decided to allow the viewer to see their work as day, night or dream, giving no indication of which it might be with an ambiguous background that incorporated elements of all three.
Keep your eyes open, the mural is going up on the outside wall of Avenue M at 791 Merrimon Ave.
Local art, local artists, local learning!