Young Artists Group ESA progresses with the new YIS mural

Last year, the ten young artists who participated in the Young Artists Group ESA completed a mural (a wall painting) on the side of the Inge Building, 2012-13’s effort to increase the on-campus art here at YIS. The goal of our group continues to be to use and showcase our creativity, skills, and knowledge to make Yokohama International School OUR school by adding something of ourselves to it — and to make everyone’s day here on campus a bit more interesting and enjoyable. YIS is not just a place where we come to learn; it’s also where we spend so much time with our friends, playing and talking and having fun. We want our murals to represent both ourselves as students and Japan, the country we all live in.

Our new mural is on the wall at the bottom of the outdoor stairway leading from the ES level up to the main building and library. There was already a mural there, and it used to look like this:

stairway wall mural original  - photo by A.Reed

stairway wall mural original – photo by A.Reed

It was made some years back by YIS students (a number of whom are still here at school!). The existing artwork had some simple colors — early green and brown with a light blue sky above — painted on the concrete wall by the YIS caretakers, as well as many colorful ceramic sculptures adhered to the wall to evoke a landscape. These clay sculptures were created by kindergarten students (many of whom are now in Grade 6!).

In our ESA, the young artists decided to incorporate these clay sculptures into their new landscape idea, and so the ceramic pieces have been left intact. But it was decided that a better background picture could be created — something more interesting and representative of Japan. And so last year part of our Session 3 ESA time was spent preparing the wall by painting it with a permanent white paint, being careful not to cover the existing sculptures. The other part of our ESA time together was spent addressing the big challenge before us: What new image will we paint on the wall?

new mural illustration - photo by A.Reed

new mural illustration – photo by A.Reed

Realizing that the wall is part of our entire school and is for the enjoyment of the entire school community (students, teachers, parents, staff, and our visitors) the young artists had many discussions about what would be appropriate to represent. We focused the mural as a landscape with Japan as a theme, including incorporating a traditional Japanese pattern, and then — after much brainstorming and back and forth — finally voted for the five most important ideas to represent in the mural: Mt. Fuji, sakura, shinkansen, ocean waves, and cats.

Last year’s artists produced two proposed illustrations of what the mural might look like (see this blog post for details) and submitted their ideas via videos to some of the YIS administrators. By the end of last year, the Young Artists Group had their feedback and completed the illustrated design for the new mural.

Now this year’s new Young Artists Group has drawn the illustration onto the wall (using a laborious but accurate grid system) and has begun painting the colors.  Stay tuned for more updates!

The Young Artists Group has finished its first mural!

After months of brainstorming, research, surveying students, drawing, cutting, tracing the images directly on the Inge Building wall, and finally painting the “shadows”, the Young Artists Group has finally completed its first mural.

These pretend “shadows” represent students engaged in their favorite out-of-class activities — playing basketball, reading, talking with friends, eating snacks, and running around and playing tag — which they determined after interviewing students of all ages earlier in the year.

Now the Young Artists Group is back at work, coming up with a new idea for a new mural… coming soon to a wall near you!

4th & 5th ESA artists have begun painting the new mural

After weeks of brainstorming, research, surveying students, drawing, cutting, and then tracing the images directly on the Inge Building wall, the Young Artists Group has now begun painting the new mural. This past week, the six girls donned protective art shirt and gloves and then set out in the cool, wet winter air with brushes and paint and wet sponges (to take care of any messes). They carefully painted along the detailed edges of the body shapes first — these pretend “shadows” of students engaged in their favorite out-of-class activities — before beginning to fill in the interior areas. Soon 4pm was upon us and we headed back indoors to clean up. Once ESA Session III begins, the Young Artists Group will be back on the job to complete the project and provide the YIS campus with its new mural.

Then, we’ll begin our next Public Art project… wait and see.

4th & 5th ESA artists on the verge of painting their first mural!

After weeks of brainstorming, research, surveying students, drawing, and cutting, the Young Artists Group is on the verge of painting their new mural on the side of the Inge Building. This past week, the six girls composed their life-size stencils of the bodies on the wall and carefully traced them on the bricks with permanent markers, in preparation for painting them next week. These young artists are getting excited about finally painting their mural (and now realizing why it took so long to get to this point!).

The Young Artists Group and the new Y.I.S. mural

The girls of the Young Artists Group ESA — Grace, Wonkyung, Meg, Lente, Yein, and Wenyu — have been hard at work for several weeks preparing to paint the new mural which will begin to appear soon on the side of the Inge Building.

The mural will depict some of the most common outside-of-class activies among YIS students: the things students do before school, during recess, break, lunchtime, and after school. The six girls observed and surveyed a number of young people from elementary, middle, and high school so as to determine exactly what it is that our students do when not in class.

Most of the images that girls selected and created have been transformed into life-size paper stencils which will allow the girls to transfer their design to the brick wall. Soon, after tracing the body shapes onto the bricks, they will begin painting them. And slowly you will see appear some “shadows” on the side of the Inge Building — be on the lookout for them!

Grade 4 & 5 ESA: the Young Artists Group mural painting begins!

Mr. Reed’s new ESA has begun: the Young Artists Group. The Young Artist Group for trimester 2 consists of Grace, Wonkyung, Meg, Lente, Yein, and Wenyu. These girls will be creating a new outdoor mural which will be painted on the side of the Inge building where the picnic tables are.

The objective is to create a mural which depicts the most common outside-of-class activies among all YIS students: the things students do before school, during recess, break, lunchtime, and after school. The six girls polled numerous students from elementary, middle, and high school so as to determine exactly what it is that our children and teenagers do when not in class. Now the girls are in the process of creating images which represent those most common activities and of learning exactly how to transfer these images into life-size pictures to be painted on the wall.

More to follow!