Murray Youth Mural Service Project with Recently Reduced Arts Education Funding

Sixth grade students from Viewmont Elementary teamed up with youth from their school receiving special education services to create a mural of colorful alphabet collages to benefit Cricket Care, the District's daycare center benefiting teen parents.
Tile mural created with Viewmont Elementary youth
Tile mural created with Viewmont Elementary youth
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Arts Education
Art Education
Utah Education


Sandy - Utah - US

March 20, 2012 - PRLog -- Location: Cricket Care - Inside Creekside High School
                179 E 5065 S
                Murray, UT  84107
Date: Friday, March 23rd
Time: 4:00-4:45pm

In these tough economic times, educational resources need to be placed where they will have the strongest impact on the critical thinking skills that will help youth become self-reliant and independent. Just as arts education funding receives massive cuts from the Utah legislature, Murray youth complete a mural project that proves the value of what is being lost.

Artist Roger Whiting met with youth from Viewmont Elementary School in Murray once a week between October 2011 and January 2012. Students were chosen from the sixth grade classes of the school as well as from the population of youth receiving special education services. As the ability levels of the students involved in the project were very diverse, Whiting developed a project to allow all the youth to express themselves and make a valuable contribution.

Whiting taught the youth about the modernist art movement of the early twentieth century, and how it transitioned into the abstract expressionist art movement, creating artists such as Jackson Pollock who created art by splatter-painting. Whiting also taught the youth about Eric Carle, a youth who grew up in Nazi Germany and learned the value of free self-expression which he used later in life to design beautiful children's books using collages of splattered and scribbled papers.

The youth then spent the next few weeks using techniques such as splattering, scribbling and sgraffito to create dynamic textures on colored papers which they used to create collages of the alphabet. Those collages were then printed onto ceramic tiles which have been installed in a mural at Cricket Care, the Murray School District's daycare center benefiting teen parents. The youth also worked with Whiting to assemble the mosaic border surrounding the tiles.

On Friday, March 23rd at 4:00pm the youth will assemble at Cricket Care with Whiting to celebrate their accomplishments in completing this mural. Light refreshments will be served.

This project was made possible with a grant from Art Access Utah, in cooperation with the Utah State Office of Education Special Education Services Unit. Equally important, the project was possible because of close collaboration with Crystal Kobzeff, Murray School District's Arts Specialist, who is on staff at Murray District with the cooperation of the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program. This program sends art specialists to work in elementary schools throughout Utah to integrate the arts (dance, theater, music, visual arts) with the other core educational subjects.

In the past the Utah legislature has approved funding to match private funding. This year, however, only half of the $4 million requested to continue the program was supplied by the legislature(1)(2). With 4.9 billion dollar total expenditure on education (2011)(3), is it not worth a small percentage for Utah's youth to receive quality arts education as well? The Sorenson program currently serves 59 schools throughout Utah. Stay tuned for a revised number of schools for next year.


Roger Whiting - Artist - (801) 707-3580 (cell)

Crystal Kobzeff  - Murray School District Arts Specialist (661) 992-8537 (cell)





Source:Roger Whiting
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Tags:Mural, Youth, Collage, Arts Education, Art Education, Utah Education
Location:Sandy - Utah - United States
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