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Lesson Plans

John Biggers

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Nancy Walkup (walkup)
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 17:26:15 CST6CDT

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Hello Nancy!

It was nice to hear from you today. I KNOW I am
lucky to have met John Biggers; he was wonderful, and my students
and I were inspired by our informal visit with him. To answer
your questions: 1. The mural should be finished by mid-December.
2. The mural, which is called "The Saltmarsh", represents the
cycle of life, with references to day on one side of the
painting, and symbols of the night on the other side. In the
middle of the mural is a depiction of the growth that children
experience, from being gourd-like unformed creatures, through the
pain of life, represented by kettles, up to the wisdom of old
age, symbolized by owl's heads. There are also references to
materialism, the race between the hare and the tortoise, and lots
of other things. I took some photos -- would you like to see
them? they are only snapshots, but they would give you a good
idea of the mural. 3. Mr. Biggers is working with a gentleman
who told us much about the symbolism in the piece. He also worked
with students from the University of Houston, who incorporated
symbols of their own ancestry into the piece (eg, a Latino student
painted Mexicanpyramids in the lower left hand corner). Let me know
if you have any more questions, and if you would like to see the photographs
of the mural.

Take care, Juliet

At 08:19 AM 12/10/97 -0600, you wrote: >Juliet: > >How far has
Biggers' new mural progressed? What images is he using? >Is he
working with his nephew or students as apprentices? You are
>fortunate to be in Houston to have the opportunity to view this
major >work in progress. Thanks for sharing. > >Nancy

>In response to Nancy Walkup's comment re. John Biggers's mural
>at the
>> University of Houston: My class (Art Education Methods course)
>visited Mr.
>> Biggers last week and observed the mural in progress. We
>> talked with
>> Biggers and his son, both of whom explained a lot of the
>> symbolism
>> in the mural, titled "The Saltmarsh". They were both very
>enthusiastic and
>> supportive of the vocation of the art education students and
>> their respect for children, education, and women. It was a
>> wonderful experience; I'll be happy to speak more about it to
>> anyone who
>writes to
>> me.
>Dr. Juliet G. Moore
>Assistant Professor in Art Education
>Department of Curriculum & Instruction
>University of Houston
>4800 Calhoun Blvd.
>Houston, Texas 77203-5872

Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 305100, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
940/565-3986 FAX 940/565-4867

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