It all started last summer when I got an email from a fellow mom at the boys’ elementary school. She knew I was newly in charge of the art literacy program at the school, and had an idea. She sent me this link to a blog post about a wing project that an art teacher did at another school. She asked me if we could incorporate it in any way to our art literacy program. I instantly fell in love with the project, but with my limited art skills I was hesitant to take on something so large.
As September rolled around and I needed to finalize plans for art literacy for the year, I met with the principal at the school to run ideas by her. She also loved the eagle wing mural idea. So I got going with research and experimentation. I decided our artist for the art lit lesson would be the original inspiration for the blog post project…Kelsey Montague. The more I learned about her the more inspired I became. I wrote the lesson materials for the classes to use and came up with a project. Each child in the school would create an eagle feather. Then those feathers would be assembled into an interactive eagle wing mural. We taught the kids about tinting, and they used paints to try it out on their feather. Then in a separate lesson, they filled their feather with drawings of things that inspire them or make them happy, which was based on Kelsey Montague’s #WhatLiftsYou campaign.
I’ve been super busy this spring with the project. First I had to experiment with a bunch of different papers, types of paint, colored pencils, and everything else that had to do with the project. Once I had chosen all of that I trained all of the wonderful art literacy volunteers, and the project was launched. I immediately received a lot of positive feedback, and I was fairly confident the project would turn out well. However, one can never be sure until it is totally finished.
After all the feathers were completed by students, I got to sit in the conference room at Imlay for a grand total of ten hours assembling the mural. I think I lost about half of my brain cells due to the strong scent of mod podge. I also felt old for the first time…as my legs and hips did not respond well to sitting on the floor for that long all at once.
However, the mural turned out fantastic if I do say so myself. I got my reward just moments after it was hung in the front entranceway as students were being dismissed and oohed and aaahed as they passed. Phones came out and people immediately started interacting (taking pictures) with the mural. The next day, it was our schools STEAM festival and I hear there was a line all night to take a picture in front of the mural. I feel very happy that this project is done and I so glad that I took on this project…but if you ever hear me talking about wanting to make a mural again, please tell me…No!
Here are Simon and Caleb in front of the mural:
And because the artwork on the feathers was so beautiful, I took some close ups. You can’t see it from far away…
I love how some kids say they are inspired by family. Some have music notes, animals, plant life, and other amazing designs. There were even a few that took my breath away, and I hated that they had to be partially covering eachother.
It was fun to see each kid finding their own feather in the mural and feeling proud. The project was very inspiring and unifying.
K. you are so incredibly talented! Bless you for using your abilities as a teacher and a learner to share this project with a whole school…. wow!