Hundreds of seventh graders from Davidson mural spend the day streaming into the school library which had been transformed into a gallery to view their own creations.
Youth in Arts Mentor Artist Brooke Toczylowski worked with all Davidson Middle School seventh graders and their teachers Ed Cosgriff and Jeff Snow to create collaborative Mini Murals on their personal histories in San Rafael.
Brooke led students in creating research workbooks to develop critical thinking skills as both Artists and Historians. Students described the visual elements they noticed in photographs, analyzed images by making educated hypotheses with supportive evidence, compared and contrasted photographs, and made connections between an arts process and a historical concept. Brooke taught specific elements of design to the students who worked with their teachers on their personal stories. Then the students worked in teams of two to create their visual story of San Rafael as a mini mural.
The gallery exhibit was a time for reflection on the artistic and learning process. Selected student comments:
“I learned that collaboration is hard, but creative things come out of the process.”
“I learned that the only way to get to San Rafael used to be through a train that is not there any more.”
“My classmates come from all over the world, I didn’t know that before this project.”
“There was a San Rafael day that featured bullfights with grizzly bears.”
“There was an old movie theater called the El Camino”
“I found out about layering, abstract and realistic art, the meaning of foreground and background. I learned that I’m an artist.”