Thursday, March 3, 2016

6th grade Mural-Otterbein

 Once upon a time, not that long ago (okay, a few months), I was approached by our town librarian with an idea.  Miss Lauren Lee has a fairly new library with a wee little problem...blank walls.  It was jam-packed with books, computers, and even a puppet theater for the kiddos, but there was SO. MUCH. WHITE, save a mural at the back of the library.  She happened to get a grant through the Tippecanoe Arts Federation for resident artist Stacy Bogan to help cure the whiteness issue plaguing the library, but also wanted the local kids to have a crack at it.  I volunteered my 6th graders, and so it began.

Stacy visited school and had the 6th grade work up ideas that define their lives at this very moment, and in one short class, managed to create one cohesive plan to unite them all.  Between the end of November and the first week in January, the sixth grade classes at Otterbein walked to the town library to work on the mural with Ms. Bogan.  We lucked out and didn't have to head over in a downpour or tread through massive piles of snow (or any snow, actually).  Each class had about 3 sessions to work, plus one after-school extended session for those who may have missed out due to absences or who knows what else.  Their initial task was to paint a self portrait on the wall, and after that, add objects specific to their lives/interests, such as their house, their favorite book title, a favorite game character, etc.  With 20 kids painting at a time, you'd think it would be chaos.  It wasn't, and somehow everything just fell into place.

Humble Beginnings

The exciting news is that Ms. Lee recently applied for our 'little' meeting room mural to get officially endorsed as a Bicentennial Legacy Project for the state of Indiana.  SHE GOT IT!  Our small-town mural now has it's claim to fame, thanks to Lauren Lee, Stacy Bogan, and our Otterbein 6th graders.

Okay, I might have played a little part in it, too...
The Completed Mural-Details