Thursday, May 1, 2008

Victory School Artist Residency

Hello, everybody! I realize it has been a long time since I have posted anything on this site; nevertheless, despite the nonactivity of the blog, artistically things are still going strong. The book illustrations are in process, as well as my own personal paintings and commissioned artwork. Beside this work, I am also priviledged enough to work as an assistant artist at Victory School in South Milwaukee, hosted by the organization Artists Working in Education (AWE).

As an assistat artist, I am working alongside head artist and muralist Laura Easy-Jones. Together we are creating a wonderful art piece with k5, 6th, and 7th graders who attend Victory School, an Italian immersion school. This art piece will be permanently displayed in the front entrance of the facility for all to see.

Because Victory School has recently converged to become an Italian immersion school, the project is, fittingly, Italian themed. Combined, the artists and students are painting three five by five foot panels picturing famous Italian architecture (off to the side is one sample photograph the children are working from; it looks difficult, but the kids chose the picture and are doing an excellent job drafting it out). These boards will be framed and installed on the walls in the front entrance, becoming a mural. The kids are terribly excited about where it will be placed. They will be able to walk past the three paintings everyday and say to themselves, "Wow, I helped create that!" So far the paintings look beautiful.

Throughout this process, the children are learning to paint and how to work together as a community of young artists. An added bonus is the wonderful education regarding Italian history. Laura and I are greatful to AWE for this artistic teaching experience and cannot wait to see the end result. To explain further on AWE, the nonprofit organization has been around since the nineties, and continues to grow as it aids MPS in art education. AWE's mission is to "provide youth in the Milwaukee area with arts enrichment programs to enhance human potential, advance learning, and cultivate community." (AWE Newsletter, December 07). Overall, this project has become a fun group activity that Laura and I hope the children continue to remember for a long time. You can be sure to look forward to posted images of the finished mural in the beginning of June!