Middle school artists at Bayside MLK Academy in Marin City have worked on a variety of creative projects this year, from creating posters to making mandalas.
With so much going on in the world, students use words as well as images to express what matters to them. In class we examined protest posters from the 1960s up to the present, discussing how images are created and used. We looked at various fonts and talked about the importance of size and shape of words when conveying messages. Students were thoughtful and reflective in considering whether to use a few words or no words at all to accompany their art.
Using stencils, stamp pads, poster board and markers, students created incredible posters. Faced with the limitations of the large letter stamps available, the artists were quick to free themselves of traditional ways of writing words. Some artists stamped letters on top of each other, using watercolor paintings made during a previous class.
For the mandalas, students used gold and silver pens on black paper. We discussed the role of mandalas in history and the use of symbols to represent peace and unity. Students were asked to begin with one of five shapes: a square, circle, cross, spiral or triangle. Each artist put thje chosen shape in the center of the page. Although the artists learned how to create mandalas using rulers and the principles of geometry, most found it more enjoyable to use the power of their own creativity to complete the process. They traced circles using Mason jar lids, bowls and paper plates. The results were stunning.