We are right in the middle of Art Week at one of the local elementary schools and I have been lucky enough to be involved in this wonderful project. Art Week was the brain child of a fellow Master Recycler, teacher and artist, Peggy. She wanted to devote an entire week at school to celebrating the arts. After finding funding for her project, she was able to hire 6 artists to come to the school and do a week long residency so that the entire school would collectively be able to have a focus on art. Artists from a variety of disciplines were asked to participate in order to expose the children to a number of art forms. Painting, sculpting, movement, music, recycled arts, cutting, pasting... CREATING!!
The students go to two art sessions a day. The have the opportunity to work with one artist for the entire week where they will focus on one project or medium. During the second session, they rotate through different artist and project each day, one that can be completed in 75 minutes. This way the students have the chance to work on a long-range project and 5 smaller projects. This model was so successful that other area schools have adopted it and are also having Art Week.
This year I am teaching almost 300 students how to make recycled paper wallets. I have 75 minutes with a group of 20 students to complete the project and teach them a little about recycling as well. We are using a variety of found paper to make the wallets such as wrapping paper, wall paper, maps, cards, paint chips, book covers, scrap booking paper, security envelopes. The wallets are covered with discarded overhead transparencies that I rescued from local teachers. There's nothing like creating from materials that I know are headed for the landfill and extending their life.