Part two of my Rossi School arts integration project started in January with second graders. We spent several weeks coming up with a theme and working on drawings. Rossi Part One, had the theme of "leaving behind". Each fifth grade student created a tile leaf with a positive message for younger students. Part Two needed to connect to Part One, but be an independent mural as well. We came up with the theme of "Growing". Rossi Elementary has students from grades kindergarten through fifth grade.Students in second grade brainstormed all things that grow. We created lists of things that grow and created drawings from the list. As Covid 19 started to spread, I realized school would soon be closed down. I wanted to make sure I had ideas, drawings and materials to work with from home so I could continue the project. I had students draw full scale images from our preliminary plan and stamp out small clay tiles. I took all the drawings and tiles to my home studio and cut tiles from the drawings. I stayed in contact by making short videos that were shared by the teachers. I was able to get student input on glaze colors by creating coloring pages of the tile that students colored in and submitted back to me. When spring arrived and the virus subsided a bit, teachers came back to the school building for a day of socially distanced clay flower making. All the flowers that teachers created are part of the "teachers meadow" in the mosaic. Once all the tiles were fired, my daughter Madeleine and I installed the mosaic in the mostly empty school building. When students are finally back in the building, they will be greeted by a beautiful new mosaic. Working on this project truly bought me joy in a dark time. For this opportunity I am grateful. Thank you to Appel Farm Music and Arts for all the support, to the teachers that participated, and to my daughter Madeleine for all her help.
|coloring page from the tile|
|unglazed clay tiles|
|collaged diagram from student drawings|
|drawn diagram coloring page with vocabulary words|