"Spiraling with the Spirit of Imaginative Change"
April 1-25, 2011 • Artist Reception Thursday, April 7 at 5:30PM
by Washington Middle School Grade 5&6 Mural Students of AIE Artist Maria Villegas
To integrate the visual arts within the science and math curriculum of Ms. Robbins' fifth and sixth grade classes at Washington Middle School through the study of basic structures in nature and how these transform and change in time.
Under the instruction and guidance of Artist in Education Maria Villegas students viewed samples of natural materials such as flowers and insects with a microscope and noted that common geometric figures could be found in all the images. Students found that basic structures in nature look alike. Drawing inspiration from M. C. Escher and the ancient tiles of Alhambra, Spain, students generated individual 12"X16" works of black and white designs
Students and teachers held an election, voting on the individual drawing best representing the project. The winning design was then transformed into a 4'X5' mural depicting the metamorphosis of an insect, which will be on display along with the individual art works from April 1-25 in the Lobby Gallery. After the exhibition, the artworks will be on permanent display at Washington Middle School.
. . . more about the Artist in Education Project
Washington Middle School students worked with Maria Villegas to create murals integrating the visual arts with the school’s math and science curriculum. Tanyeah White, Martin Boerwinkle, Jenna Roblee, Neha Pinal Patel, Sophia Dao, and Bailegh Cherry applied concepts learned in the residency and created the six black and white designs that were chosen to represent the goal of the program as colored murals.
In preparing her students for the idea of constant change and movement in nature, Maria had them analyze and draw nano images to demonstrate their understanding of volume and space on paper. In math and art classes, they learned about fractals and patterns and created computerized geometric designs in realistic or abstract compositions. In science class, Mrs. Robbins arranged for students to use the computer/microscope setting to view samples of seeds, leaves, crystals, insects and bark. They then analyzed the structures of the samples, identifying many common geometric patterns.
The students studied the work of M.C. Escher as examples of transformation in art. Escher, whose images of metamorphosis were popular in the 80’s, was a famous 20th century graphic artist. After researching mosaic work on buildings from the Alhambra in Spain in 1936, Escher learned to divide basic geometric figures mathematically which could continue to infinity. In his prints, he linked images of animals, birds and humans in continuous work transforming one into the other.
After learning these concepts, Washington students embarked on the challenge of creating black and white designs relating and organizing shapes and forms, gradually transforming the body of an insect. Students and teachers at the school selected the six drawings to be made into murals which will hang permanently in the school.