Monday, January 23, 2012


I started this project by showing my students Salvador Dali's famous painting, "The Persistence of Memory".  Most of my students had already seen the painting featured in a Loony Tunes cartoon. We then read about some of the interesting ways in which Dali gained attention. The time, for example, when he spoke about his art to a group of people while wearing a deep sea diving suit, or when he showed up to an event in a limousine filled with cauliflower. My students especially liked the story about Dali telling people that he could receive messages from outer space through the tips of his mustache!  We all made and wore various facial hair features during one art class. The original plan was for each student to make a Dali-style mustache, but the students got creative and we rolled with it.

 The collages displayed here are loosely based on surrealism. We focused on creating images that would cause the viewer to stop and wonder what the artist was thinking, and we tried to include combinations of images that are dream-like and seemingly from the subconscious. Mostly the collages are silly and interesting to look at, and the the students thoroughly enjoyed putting them together.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


A mosaic project that was originally planned to be
10' X 10' has grown to almost 12' X 40'.  Tiles are the most expensive material and we need a lot of them, so we have been collecting cans to help curb the cost. Many of our students are very eager to collect as many cans in as short amount of time as possible, thereby helping to clean up their community.

When the wire mesh container in the photo is full, I take them to Flagstaff and cash in.  If the cans are crushed, we earn almost $40.  If they're not crushed, we earn about half that.

 The front of our school building used to be a giant wall of plain gray cinder blocks.  Now it serves as a brilliant backdrop for different events that are held in our sandy front yard throughout the school year. At times, it is an interesting conversation piece for visitors during various extracurricular events, and children are often seen slowly meandering along the wall as they are captivated by the many dazzling colors and textures.

Weather dictates how frequently we can work on our mosaics. It can be too cold, too windy, too hot and dry, or too wet. And getting set up to work on the wall takes time, so it's important to get a reliable forecast and some good weather.
Creating public and permanent artwork can be very memorable for young students, and they can visit the piece for years to come.