By Talin Megherian, Studio Art Director
Earlier this spring semester, following an introduction of photos of tape murals done in other schools and by various artists, Atrium students in our Grade 4/5 Innovators class were told that they would be making a large scale mural using black tape referencing their classroom theme of "city."
The students and I discussed different options of how we could convey a city, and what we wanted to include. A loose schematic of the wall was made on graph paper and the students were given their own schematic to design the mural with their own vision. Drawings were hung and studied, which opened the discussion for what we thought were the strongest ideas and what could work on a large scale. Ultimately the students voted to create a Fantasy City that morphed from past, present to future.
Different parts of each student's designs were cut out and brought together as our master image to work off of and elaborate on. Practicing using tape as a way to draw was the next challenge in the preparation before actually executing the mural. Once students were feeling confident with their taping skills, i.e. how to make a curve, we began work on the actual mural. There was enthusiasm from beginning to end! We had children on ladders, with a spotter, on a step stool, chairs, and sitting on the floor.
We had to orchestrate where everyone was working, and started each class with a rundown on who was working on what. New ideas were expanded from old ones. An early lesson was learned on what happens if you don’t press your tape on firm enough on the wall. Peeling was occurring, so we started using a burnisher to press down the tape. This process brought up all kinds of questions. For example: How do you make a building look like it is going back in space, or what sized tape makes something appear close or far away?
When we were almost done, we took a look at the mural and discussed where it might need to be colored in with the tape, and where it might need some cross-hatching. We had studied how to cross-hatch before beginning the mural so we could create depth with the tape as needed. Ultimately, we didn’t think it needed much, and stood on it’s own as a strong piece of art with the black “line” of the tape. I think it’s fair to say we had a really good time this semester with this mural and the results are spectacular! Please enjoy the picture story of the process and results of the creation of "Fantasy City!"