The past few months, Johannah has been working with 4th and 5th grade Richmond city elementary students as an Art 180 program leader. We love the work this local non-profit is doing. Their slogan sums it up: "Young people turning lives and communities around through art." Yes! The power of art. That's what first drew us to this group, and we're happy to continue the relationship.
The final project for the program is mosaic maps. But to get started, we practiced making mosaics in paper. The kids showed a lot of imagination even in these practice pieces, like the multi-colored apple one student created.
We meet once a week after school. Though they are tired and antsy from a long school day, the students dive into the work with enthusiasm. To keep things simple and safe, we're working with mini tile that don't require nipping. These colorful tile come in a surprisingly broad range of colors and textures, and it's so fun to see the different ways the kids have put them to use.
The variety of maps is really impressive! Some created imaginary worlds, others mapped out a dream trip, and one student even looked to sheet music as a type of map.
The next and almost-final step is grouting the mosaics. Next weekend the students' projects will be part of the work shown at The Really BIG Show, a family-friendly festival celebrating student work created during this spring's twelve Art 180 community programs.