14 Nov, 2023
11 : 01
Aligning with Culture and Arts is a key component of our school's mission. YWIES Tongxiang provides every student with a well-rounded education. The arts are an essential aspect of the human experience, and also are fundamental to YCYW education. We therefore ensure all students are exposed to a wide variety of arts throughout their school life.
Recently, our Art Department and the Artist-in-Resident (AIR) jointly launched the "Green Wall" project. The aim was to raise awareness about consumerism and its environmental impact through artistic forms.
Regarding his creative inspiration for the "Green Wall" mural project, Mr Gabe Ostley, our Artist-in-Residence, said the following: "Last summer I visited Japan. One thing that struck me was the difficulty in finding a public waste bin. I learned the city government discovered that by providing less waste receptacles, the public actually created less trash. When I began visualizing this project, I wanted to create something that reminds us of the trash we create."
Centered around the theme of "environmental protection and consumerism", under the guidance of our art teacher Ms El-Marie and AIR Mr Gabe Ostley, Grades 6-8 students began designing a creative and interesting mural called "Green Wall" by using discarded items and recyclable materials.
Mr Gabe said: "Choosing to make our creation in the shape of a Chinese mountain landscape is a way of honoring the amazing art history of China and connecting us to it. It is also a way for us to remember nature. Thus, we can be more mindful, create less trash, and heal nature for the better."
01 Coloring | Old Canvases
With these concepts in mind, Ms El-Marie’s G6-8 art classes began to lay out an interesting mural. Everything in our “Green Wall” is recycled or reused in some way. Ms El-Marie donated old canvases that we repainted. All of the objects used in the composition were brought in by students, staff, and parents. Broken toys, bottle caps, and discarded containers became our main sculptural elements.
02 Coloring | Items
After completing the coloring work on the old canvas, the students began the second step of the "Green Wall" project - coloring the small parts of waste materials in batches. They were able to select their favorite small parts and brush them with light green, green, dark green, and yellow paint in batches.
Another goal of the mural project was to encourage students to explore shapes, connections, patterns, and harmony in art creation. After completing the coloring work, the students began the creative process of pasting the materials onto the canvas. They were able to fully unleash their imagination and creativity by sticking the discolored small parts onto the canvas.
Another aim of this project was to let the students explore shapes, connections, patterns, and harmony. Composing pictures in art can be like composing music. There are high notes and heavy feelings that can be achieved with color and size. In fact, one student remarked that it is “like music for your eyes.”
Gabe and El-Marie said that the mural creation process can help students better understand how to use the creative process, artistic aesthetic elements, and creative principles to enhance people's understanding of art in a broader sense. In addition, this activity also provided an opportunity for students to exercise their creativity and teamwork spirit.
"This mural project has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of my responsibility to the environment and society. I will take more actions to contribute to envirmental protection. In addition, I have also learned more artistic skills and knowledge, further improving my level of art." Sonya, a G8 student, shared her post-class experience.
After nearly three weeks, our mural work "Green Wall" has been completed and is now on the wall.
This mural has environmental protection and consumption as its main theme. By reusing discarded items and conveying the concept of environmental protection through art, it calls on the public to raise awareness of consumerism and its impact on the environment. "In this way, we aimed to create an artwork that is visually pleasing, adding a splash of color and energy to the white walls. By creating this project, our students could play with the building blocks of art. We hope the viewer will reflect on deeper environmental ideas while appreciating the students’ creativity." Mr Gabe also explained.