Every year our school (high school) does a 'hall decorating' contest, where
the 'classes' pick a theme and decorate the hall accordingly. The 4 years
that I was advisor to a class, I enlisted the whole class to make complete
scenes in the hall, al la Red Grooms (and of course our class 'kicked
preverbial butt'). Our most successful one was The Wizard of Oz where we
made everything 3D (al la Grooms) and people had to walk through everything
(it was like a theater set). Anyway...here are my suggestions. One year we
did a working carnival, complete with larger than life carousel.
1. If you want to work large (which we did...ours was larger than life),
break the kids up into teams. We had the "Forest Team", the "Flying Monkeys
2. Do your sketches (or 'cartoons' a la Michaelangelo) and project them onto
large paper TWICE (that is the key)..one for the front and one for the back.
3. Use bright colors (and we 'outlined'everything to keep that cartoon
feeling). We used tempra. We did the fronts (i.e. of the Monkeys) and the
backs. We cut the fronts and backs out, stapled around the edges, left an
opening, and stuffed everything with newspaper. (We taped dowels to the
insides of the pieces for support if needed). We did everything on 'butcher
paper'.. the large rolls of paper you can buy from SAX.
4. Most importantly and I suppose I should have started with this is have a
plan, a final drawing of the whole scene, and find a suitable place for your
'sculpture'. We got to use an entire hall, and so our scenes were extensive
and worked on by about 75-100 kids. We hung the pieces and supported them
from the floor. Our pieces went floor to ceiling, and some were attached to
We spent weeks doing it, and the 'contest' only lasted 1 day. I don't advise
anymore...moved on...but always liked the challenge of making the rest of
the school ask "how did they do that?"