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Middle School

Through Lehman College Art Gallery's Arts-in-Education Program, two sixth grade classes from the Theater Arts Production Company School (TAPCo) visited the Gallery for art lessons and tours. We also began a collaboration with a school in Papua New Guinea, exchanging e-mail and artwork. The culminating project for the students was to create a painted, folded mural featuring the urban/human-made environment on one side and the natural environment on the other.

We gave students disposable cameras to take photos of these subjects in their own neighborhoods. They visited the New York Botanical Garden accompanied by their science teacher who was completing a unit on plants, and sketched the plants and flowers they saw.

The students referred to their photographs and drawings while designing the mural. We made a folding mural using narrow, wooden, flush doors and no-mortise hinges, and then covered it with a coat of gesso. The scene was lightly sketched onto the mural with pencil and then painted with tempera and acrylics.

One of the most wonderful aspects of the mural is the use of places and things found right here in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium with the Goodyear Blimp; the #4 elevated train, the Bronx Zoo and, of course, lots of buildings, cars, streets, and bridges. The other side of the mural included some flowers and palm trees that the students saw at the Botanical Garden.

We sent photographs of the mural with descriptive text to the school in Papua New Guinea showing them how students from New York see and understand the world around them. This was an effective project for integrating units in fine arts, natural sciences, social studies, and communities. This mural was also part of Lehman College Art Gallery's Annual Children's Art Exhibition in June 1998. It is now on permanent display in the TAPCo School.

ClipCard submitted by Kristin Baxter, an Education Coordinator at Lehman College Art Gallery, New York and a doctoral student in art education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
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Title Annotation:various art class activities, including creating a mural and collaborating with a school in Papua New Guinea
Author:Baxter, Kristin
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 1, 1999

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