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David Brame at Flex, February 2022

“Artists in Schools was a fantastic program. I facilitated a student lead mural development art project at FLEX High school in Homer, AK. I did this project in conjunction with faculty and staff. Principal Chris Brown, Lindsey, Dave and Beth were instrumental in the implementation and completion of this project.

The FLEX Mural Project (FMP) was a 2 week hands on design and development art experience for 28 high school students. I began the process by first meeting with faculty and staff to discuss the typical workflow and development of a large project and acceptable design parameters. We brainstormed possible thematic options that included color, setting, location, materials and completion time.

I next met with the students. I explained the scope of the project, goals, expectations and then we began the design iteration process. Faculty, staff and I believed a unified theme would help constrain some ideas but also elicit creative design solutions from students. The theme of a Phoenix and FLEX values was the agreed upon impetus. We began with a open ended discussion about the theme and how these ideas could be turned into imagery. I gave a short visual presentation and discussion of murals, street art, and large scale outdoor art pieces and then the students began the design process with free association doodling, drawing and more complex iterative rendered pieces.

Next with the help of Lindsey, I compiled the doodles and organized 3 groups of students to streamline the design and implementation process. There was a Design Group, Paint Group, Doodle Group. The design group was typically 6-10 students working together to help isolate consistent visual and thematic motifs in the free association doodle session. My only role as a facilitator was to provide a deeper explanation of design principles and strategies. These discussions help guide the students. The students ideated and then refined a final design, color story, and aesthetic. The students in the Design Group eventually acted as detailers adding flourishes and unique qualities to the final painted design. With the Paint Group I explained materials and the overall painting process of making a large scale paneled mural. The students then prepared the mural by priming the surface. They used the line drawing from the Design Group and projected the drawing onto the three panels, tracing the outline and then began to proceed to fill in the areas. Working in three separate groups within the Paint group they worked through color and design matching as well as managing their time and effort effectively. The Doodle Group worked on an accompanying piece of FLEX’s Values. This piece focused more on pattern making, color, and precision while still giving students the same experience as the larger scale piece.

Students, Faculty, and I all worked in tandem to aid in the development , implementation, and completion of the FMP. It was an honor and wonderful experience to work with students.” – Report from artist David Brame

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