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RE: mural class description


From: Eric Holsen (holsenek_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Apr 19 2002 - 22:47:41 PDT

Hi there,

I teach a mural painting class a Studio Academy high school for the arts
(charter school) here in Rochester, MN.

This is my 3rd semester of this and it's a blast!

We have hooked up with a local elementary school's PTA. Their diversity
committee had us do one last year, and this year the beautification
committee called us back in. They're pretty much in, "oh, this wall is
boring too, go ahead" mode!

Most of my job as teacher on site is task coordination! As a theater
teacher I'm used to this - but it's still challenging.

My tips: Even though we're an art-focused school, not all of my kids claim
to be "good artists." So be sure you plan jobs for people of all abilities
- e.g. ladders, cleaning brushes, mixing colors, ferrying supplies,
measuring walls and grid systems, etc. And I'm constantly moving and
"throwing jobs" at my kids to keep everyone working and on task.

Make sure they are neat at all times! I am weeks into my project and still
reminding kids to put paint cans on cardboard and plastic, not carpet! One
good source for cardboard trays is paper box covers; our school store also
gives me the cardboard trays from packs of ramen noodles, etc.

I have all the students draw designs for a given projects and then the class
votes. Usually they vote for 3, which can then be combined, refined, or
re-voted to a top design.

I started my semester with mural painting history - a great video about
Diego Rivera (which I'll remember the name of sometime here I hope...).
Also we looked in books and at the murals already on our building (2 by my
classes and one by a professional artist, Brian Andreas) and I had them
analyze them in groups. I stole some good LPS off the Getty site too. ;)

I will email my CO and LPs for the first weeks to you individually.

Good luck!

Kris Holsen
Studio Academy High School
Rochester, MN