This week I taught a lesson about a selection of public art pieces and installations in hopes of inspiring the students to find their own ways of incorporating installation techniques into their own practices. We talked about Candy Chang's Before I Die... and her use of chalkboard paint for the sake of public interaction and collaboration, the wheatpasting technique used by Moju Manuli in Ginger & Olive Oil, Alison Saar's symbolism in Monument to the Great Northern Migration, Tyree Guyton's community collaboration within The Heidelberg Project and its revitalization of the Detroit neighborhood he grew up in, Marc Chagall's translation of painting to mosaic in Four Seasons, and Chakaia Booker's use of recycled materials in Brick House. Before beginning the presentation I asked the students to take notes and write down which techniques we were discussing that they thought could be adapted to this mural project and their own personal projects. This lesson lasted much longer than the first because on Lynda's suggestion I attempted to treat it as more of a discussion and less of a presentation. I tried to ask the students for their opinions on each piece and allow them to draw from the information presented in their own ways, finding meaning and value independently. The discussion was really exciting because the students were able to express their own feelings about installation and art in general; they all seemed to have a really high interest in community-based, collaborative, and interactive work.
After the lesson we continued work on the mural. The stripes in each color field are adding important depth and dynamism to the composition. The students are getting a lot better at painting techniques and are clearly gaining a better understanding of the materials and its uses over time. We also prepped the second wall for painting. The base is a gradient from a dark to a light blue.