It seems like I have been underground lately, but geez, I have been busy. For the past two weeks, I have been doing another artist-in-residence thing at Juniata High School. In short, that means that I worked with 76 kids and their teacher to create a 3 foot x 7 foot glass mosaic in 10 fast days. Of the 4 hours we worked each day, at least a half hour was spent getting things out and putting them away!
The vision was for the work to say "pride." Each student got a 6 inch by 6 inch square to do whatever they wanted as long as they incorporated their portion of the letter into the design. Half of the students made a fused glass tile while the rest used traditional mosaic methods. For a week and a half we worked blind to what our end results would be. We had no idea if the kids would match their letter patterns close enough to produce a legible word. With 76 kids and many absences, there was no guarantee of how many squares would get lost. I made a map of the kids' squares so that they could see who was adjacent to them in case they wanted to collaborate with one another to create a work larger than 6 x 6 inches within the entire mosaic. We had as many as four working on one section that features a mermaid.
We had butterflies and flowers, buildings and guitars, landscapes and eyes, sports and a cheerleader, PIZZA, a gold cross, and a family crest. I mean, what didn't we have? It was cool that themes that were duplicated were done so- quite unknowingly. Interestingly, the results were that each repeat was so different than the other that it just emphasized our diversity, something we are awfully proud of. So the day before we had to adhere the tiles, the last section was fit in 8 minutes before the bell rang. Nothing needed cut or ground to fit (a feat by itself) and you could read the word loud and clear. These kids have pride in what they are as well they SHOULD. They also have pride in what they have created as do I. So after getting paid to play with kids all day for two weeks, I have to get back to work. Oh wait... that is playing all day too! May the rest of 2012 be this wonderful!
ArtFlow has been brought to the school by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Perry County Council of the Arts and the Juniata County Cultural Arts Committee.