I believe that art and creative, real-world experiences should be part of education year-round but there is something particularly joyful and rejuvenating about this work in spring, when collective exhaustion is a dominant theme. While many students spent time during the school day taking our statewide standardized tests, we took time after school to begin installation of a public art project on 22nd Street.
The project is a collaboration with SLA Spanish teacher extraordinaire, Melanie Manuel, and Inside Out: The People’s Art Project. My students investigated Identity & Belonging for nearly two months earlier this school year. Melanie’s students focused on the same theme. As the units came to a close we introduced them to the work of JR and The Inside Out Project. Students volunteered to be photographers and others signed up to have their portraits taken. Months later we got the prints. Here are the early stages of the installation:
The experience included some wonderful moments like this:
Right now, I think it’s looking pretty good:
Stay tuned or, if you’re in Philly, come to check it out on 22nd Street, north of Market. The next step of the installation will be quotes from student work under the photos. See a larger collection of photos from the project here.