C.S. Poppenga
Artist in Residence
Freemont/Hay Elementary School - Lakeview, Oregon
In April 2006, I was an Artist-in-Residence for one week at an elementary school in Lakeview, Oregon (USA.)

Grades kindergarten through 5th participated in the week's activities. Just under 300 students participated. This school did not want a permanent mural painted on a wall.  By using the panels, students were still able to get a feel for working larger and also for working as a team of artists and creating a public work of art (as the school was planning to install the works temporarily.)

As with all my residencies, all work produced is the students' own.
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BELOW: Getting started. Students make first marks in paint n a primed/tinted 4 by 8 ft panel (one per individual class) using brushes with extra long dowel handles. The first painting session focused on form/shape and color.
BELOW: The second session on the panel focused on the creation of line and causing that line to interact with the forms/colors composition already on the panel from the previous session.
BELOW: A completed panel. Every panel was different and conveyed a sense of the energy of the class that painted it. Teachers were able to see overall class personalities in each panel (for example, one panel conveyed a sense of extremely high energy and was accurately reflecting the overall hyperactiveness of the class that created it. It was also noted that several of the panels viewed on the floor as the one shown here, created the illusion of floating slightly above the floor instead of resting directly on the floor.
BELOW: In addition to painting the panels, students also completed two drawing exercises that included the figure.

The first exercise was to capture the moving/action figure in a rapidly done gesture drawing. (See an example immediately below.) Click on image to see larger.

The second exercise required the students to pair up and then draw each other's simple portait (again done rapidly and multiple times, seeking to capture personality as well as gesture.) Below are a couple examples of students' work for this exercise.
Click on image to see larger.