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Mentor Artist, Tracy Eastman shares her experience working with middle school students at the Canal Alliance’s University Prep program —
This past fall I had the privilege of teaching a mural-making project with middle school students at the Canal Alliance. Our group was made up of four to six 7th-graders with little art experience, who explored an introduction to color theory, acrylic paint properties, and painting techniques. The students and I first discussed the project of making a mural: how to portray ideas through images, who our audience would be, and observing the environment where the painting would be displayed. The students put ideas and images together that reflected a healthy environment and community. We used a projector to assist the budding young artists with determining composition and rendering certain aspects of the painting. Although challenging at times, the students worked independently as well as a whole group, learning about teamwork.
This would have been a big challenge for any group of student artists, but I would like to commend these particular students for taking on such a bold project with little to no prior knowledge of art. I could definitely see a colorful transformation in each and every student, as they built confidence and learned to express themselves visually. The final mural turned out beautifully!