In January 2004, I was an Artist-in-Residence at Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston, Oregon (USA.) The residency was scheduled for two weeks but four days of the first week were cancelled due to school closure for snow conditions.
In the remaining time, I facilitated and guided about 100 7th and 8th-grade students through the process of producing an indoor mural measuring approximately 16 feet wide by 4 ft high.
The mural's theme was tied to the students' current studies: The Renaissance Period. Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel was selected because his paintings addressed one of the significant aspects of the Renaissance---the humanization of man's outlook on the world around him. Bruegel portrayed everyday people engaged in daily living activities. The three Bruegel paintings chosen for the students' mural were: 1) The Wedding Feast; 2) The Hunters in Snow; and 3) The Pheasants' Dance.
As with all of my school residencies, the students create the art entirely. I facilitate, organize and instruct.
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The grid on the wall is easily seen in this photo.
BELOW LEFT and RIGHT:
Several students at a time were able to work at the mural. Most of the mural was easily reach. Library step stools provided safe lift when necessary.
The three Bruegel paintings were presented side-by-side to create a triptych.
This is the far left of the mural. The Bruegel painting recreated is "The Wedding Feast."
Because of the limited time, the students treated the colors as flat areas---a contemporary interpretation of Bruegel's work.
The three paintings were separated by dividing devices---in this instance, a two columns one on either side of the central part of the triptych---of marbled color.
Within these columns, the school's initials were placed. To allude to illuminated lettering, paw prints (representing the school's bulldog mascot) were added to the area surrounding each letter.
More details from the mural. Shapes were simplified, which further suggested the contemporary aspect of the students' rendition and interpretation of the original work.
The simplification of form was applied to the figures on the pond (LEFT), the hunters, the hunters' dogs (BELOW LEFT) and all of the large figures as well.
All the faces were left as suggestive shapes without features.
The completed mural, with the "Wedding Feast" nearest the viewer. (Although watermelons were not known to northern Europeans during the Renaissance, students included a watermelon in the lower
left of the painting, to signify one of Hermiston's commercial crops. Watermelons, however were not known
The center panel, "The Hunters in Snow." The circular glare on the work is the result of a camera flash when taking this photograph. A clearer image will be posted when a better photo can be obtained. The mural location prevents taking a single photo of the work in its entirety.