Mother Nature Mosaics – USA

Art Forms: Art, Mosaic, Design, Crafts

Participants: Age 4 – 11

Country: USA

I conducted a 2 week residency near Boston MA  at Barbieri Elementary School.  It was a whole school endeavor, over 600 students K-5th grade.

The design was a collaborative effort between the staff and myself, however the final renderings were done by me in order to portion the work for the number of classes/students per grade.  Each grade had a very specific role per their age/skill level. Barbieri ES is a Spanish Language Immersion school, where all students speak/learn Spanish part of every day.  Their student community is very diverse, and they wanted to bring that focus into the mural.  Additionally the tree of life design with the birds are specific to the communities they wanted to represent; bald eagle (US), queztal (Central America/Mexico), parrot (Carribean nations), pireo (Spain).

Kindergarden children worked with me in small groups to assemble the sun, looking at the shapes and how they fit closely together.  First grade created the word pattern border blocks, they had to follow a graphed design.  Second graders completed the background sky, Third graders completed the leaves and flowers, Fourth graders completed the birds, and Fifth graders completed the child and books.  There were also a couple groups of students which I worked with in very small groups with their attendant to complete various portions of the mural or related activities (touching the tiles, listening to the tiles in a container, placing pieces in a tile tray).

Each of the grade levels participated in an interactive presentation about mosaic art in history/cultures.  This mosaic mural is 9’h x 5′ w. , created on cement board panels with glass tile and tumbled stained glass.  The pattern block border states the title, “We are proud Barbieri students”.  I created all of the content, and collaborated on the design per their desires and sketch ideas.  I worked in the art classroom with the art teacher for most of the making sessions.