Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Large roll or large sheets of plain paper
- Crayons, markers and/or (optional) a textured medium such as oil pastel
- Scissors (including left-handed scissors)
Preparation for Activity
- Decide how many murals to create, what size paper sheets to use and how many participants will be in each small group. Six artists per mural would be great. If you are using a roll of paper, cut or tear off the total amount of paper you will use. If you are using individual large sheets, set aside the number you will need. Crease each large sheet to make fold lines that divide the paper into the number of panels you chose-each participant will work on one panel.
- Decide how well coordinated you want the resulting mural to be. You may wish to limit the colors participants use; give everyone in a group one color or the same small set of colors (say, three).
- On the back of each large sheet, label each panel so you can tape the murals back together after participants finish their individual panel drawings. If you are making more than one mural, use a different set of numbers to label the panels of each mural (1-6, 7-12, 13-18) or (A1-A6, B1-B6, C1-C6).
- Set out crayons or markers to share.
Description of Activity
This activity is a freestyle way to experience making a shared project through individual efforts.
While the paper is still whole, ask each participant to make one large broad, sweeping line, curve or other mark that touches most or all sections of the paper. Once everyone has had a turn, ask someone in the group to cut the paper along the fold lines (or if all the participants are very young, do this for them).
Give each participant a panel. You may allow them to choose, but assure them they need not feel disappointed if the one they want is taken since they each will change the piece anyway.
Invite participants to decorate or complete the drawing on their panel in any way they wish. Tell them how much time they have and that, when they are done, you will put the panels back together.
After everyone is done, ask the groups to look on the back of their sheets. Have volunteers help you lay the panels on the floor or work table - artwork side down - and tape the panels together.
Allow the group to react to their own creations and the murals of other groups.
Discuss how the murals look. Are they fun? Are they interesting? Very often a group's mural will hang together very well. Is anyone surprised that the beginning, random marks could inspire somewhat coordinated ideas for the panels? Ask what this experience might suggest about how our individual life and work fit into a community's efforts.
Including All Participants
This activity is vision-dependent, but can be made more inclusive if you provide a textured medium, such as oil pastels, for the initial whole-mural marks and for any participant with vision limitations to use.