I recently completed an Artist Residency at Ordway Elementary School. Working with students in the Spanish Immersion Program/El Velero, grades K-4, we co-designed and painted four large canvas panels that reflect what they loved most about this program.
How did these come about?
Working with Denise Melton-Todd, the founder and leader of the Spanish immersion program at Ordway, we spend one full day in the classroom asking kids in each grade to draw what they loved best. After collecting the 100+ drawings, I got to work organizing them into four themes: Culture, Food, Learning and Friends.
I then created a unique design for each (8′ x 3′) canvas panel and painted the design in a black outline on the panels, like a coloring book. Working with the parents and teachers, we set up a painting studio at Fay Bainbridge park for the annual field trip and the kids came by to paint the panels.
The kids and parents seemed to really enjoy their painting time, choosing their colors and painting different portions of the panels.
At the end of the day, one of the parents helped to get the panels back to my studio where I did some clean up work to finish the design. I then took the panels to have the edges sewn and corner grommeted and presented them to Denise for her class.
The project was made possible with an Artist Residency grant from Arts and Humanities Bainbridge. Thanks to Jenine at Island Canvas Works who donated her time to sew and grommet the canvases, as well as to the parent volunteers who helped to transport the panels to and from the park, as well as help with supervision and guidance during the painting process.
It was a wonderful project and I loved seeing the creativity and enthusiasm around the program and the project!