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[teacherartexchange] Mural Mosaic Web site - from Alberta Canada

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From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Sep 03 2006 - 09:38:46 PDT


Dear Art Educators,

Cheryl posted this to ArtsEducators list:
http://www.muralmosaic.com/index.html
Artist is Lewis Lavoie.

See his process:
http://www.muralmosaic.com/Before%26after.html

From Cheryl:

Lewis begins with a smaller sketch / painting to scale based on what the
overall finished size will be.
He then lays out the appropriate number of 4'x8' sheets of plywood (approx
" thick) that will make the final mural and transfers his smaller painting
to the plywood sheets. This is done very quickly, giving just the overall
idea of color and line for the picture. It isn't "neatly" done or fully
pigmented at all - just gives general color and tone.

Then the grid is drawn on the panels and cut into the appropriate sized
squares - usually 16" square. They are all numbered on the back of the
panel with an arrow that indicates the top before they are distributed to
each artist. We have never known what the final mural is until all the
panels are back and are unveiled at some big location - which is so much fun
and terribly exciting to finally see what we have all created together.
(thus the tag line - "Unity through Diversity") If you browse through the
website you can see pictures of one of the unveilings at West Edmonton Mall
in the ice rink area.

He has painted directly on a wall before - the first one he did of "David"
on his own was completed on bricks outside of a gallery. In my experience,
in a school, they are never really too open to having a wall painted, which
is why it might be easier to have it done on plywood and then mounted on a
final large sheet and hung. I guess each school district would have
guidelines around what they will allow. The plywood squares also allow for
transport if desired - many of these murals have traveled across Canada
several times being shown at various events full size - which in some cases
is 2 stories high!

Depending on the size of the wall that will display such a mural, I would
think the easiest option would be to start with just one 4'x8' sheet of
plywood as the final mural size and then divide it up into the correct
number of squares that would allow all students to participate...(assuming
there are not so many students that the squares end up being really tiny)
12"x12" squares would be a nice size and easy to cut...so one sheet of
plywood cut into 1 foot squares would allow for 32 participating artists.
Anyway...you get the idea. Other guidelines that Lewis shares can be found
here with some before and after shots:
http://www.muralmosaic.com/Before%26after.html
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If anyone tries a project similar to this, do let me know. I imagine
it is do-able with kids. You might have to do some touch up after the
panels are assembled.

Judy Decker

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