The local art council in my area is opening up an opporunity for schools in the area to create a project to be shown at an arts festival this summer. The subject is to be something from our town. I thought we could paint a picture of our school building which was an elementary public school building from the 20's until the 70's and since the early 90's has been a private school. My idea was to use acrylic medium transfer using some of the faces from students past and present (I have many decades of class photos) in the shadows and then painting our building over it. I would like about 30 different students to work on this project and I am looking for some good ways to do this.
My first thought was to divide the canvas into a grid and let each student be responsible for their 6x6 inch portion of the grid. I was thinking of having them put the transfer on first and then a light glaze of color for the school building. There isn't a lot of creativity with that idea though. My second thought was dividing the canvas into a grid and they are each responsible for their square. They could do any pattern or design in that square as long as the darks and lights and major shapes match up with their square of the photo. (Kind of a Chuck Close style picture). This would allow some more freedom for them, but i don't know how to integrate the pictures into it if I do that. The third thought I had was give each student the photo of the school and about 5 minutes with the canvas to paint as fast and as accurate the shapes, colors, and darks and lights as they could. I have an advanced art student that is doing an independent study. I thought after everyone has done their crazy, quick version, she could work with it to make it look right. The problem with that idea, is I am sure they would enjoy it, but I have no clue what my canvas would end up looking like at the end. It could be a major disaster.
Any good ideas out there. I would like everyone to work a little piece of the canvas and if possible, I would love to integrate the photos from the past onto it. I would love any suggestions you may have.