School Mural Program
The students are taken out of the classrooms and are forced to get out of their comfort zone. they learn to adapt and open up to new experiences. This triggers instinctive awareness and switches on their problem-solving skills and increases their critical thinking. Murals have been painted since the pre-historic times and are a creative dialogue which is very important in storytelling and engaging the public with space. Murals engage with the audience and place continuously. It radiates the energy of the students that painted the wall empowering current and future students attending the school. The students feel more valued and will have a sense of pride in themselves and the school resulting in being more motivated to do better at school.
The delivery of the project is full of excitement, motivation and inspiration.The immersive experience encourages the students to explore new ideas, be innovative and use their imagination. The mural is the tool to for the creative process. The creative process is what it is all about and teaches the students all the valuable life skills. This creative process will get the students involved in the research, study of art principles, concept development, site preparation, transferring of the design, painting the actual mural, sealing the work and finally the reveal. During the process, the students will learn the correct procedures involved with painting murals in public spaces and what the consequences are if you do not adhere to those rules. The program thus doubles as a graffiti prevention program.
Mieke runs a student-led program that involves the students from the research and concept stage all the way through to completion of the work. The students are part of the complete creative process and will be challenged to be inquisitive and imaginative. They will discover that this process requires persistence, discipline this will teach them valuable problem-solving skills. She delivers a motivational program, that focusses on graffiti prevention, engagement to place, each other and the greater community. A large component is creating awareness of the benefits of using art as an outlet to increase mental health. Her mission is to make art accessible and to validate the importance of art.
The students will explore the art principles of line, shape, texture, composition, contrast, colour, form and pattern so they can use these skills to respond to their research and start developing a concept.
The students will research the features of their school, history of the land, values of the school and use this as inspiration to develop a concept for their design. The will have to consider the relevance of their design to place, each other and the broader community.
With their tested new skills and research, they will then start to develop a concept for the mural that will invigorate the space of the school. The students learn to collaborate and inspire each through their development of ideas. With all their individual ideas they will work towards one encompassing design. Their design will then be authentic and relevant to place or site-specific. They will start to see that this mural will be a way of storytelling capturing their ideas demanding interaction with space.
An important step in the process. The students will learn about the importance of good preparation work in relation to their own lives. They will encounter having to perform a boring and mundane task for a period of time, building their resilience.
Depending on the age group the students will then learn skills to then transfer their design onto the wall This will really test their problem solving and communication skills.
The students will learn skills of handling brushes and rollers. For most students, this will be physically challenging. It will demand strength, stamina, persistence and team effort. It will be a fun experience painting on a school wall and they will feel validated for their ideas and abilities. They will feel a sense of accomplishment, ownership and will it will spark inspiration and respect for themselves, each other, their school and community.
To ensure the mural lasts, they will apply a sealer to the artwork This protective coating will also ensure easy removal of any graffiti.
Finally, there will be a ceremony to reveal the artwork and all students will receive a participation award.
The program is adaptable, so it can cater for a variety of ages and school requirements. An average program would run for 6-7 weeks with 1 hour minimum per week for each group or class. However, a full term or whole year programs are available as well. The program could be used a start of year team building or peer support program or as a final art project for the last term. All equipment, learning materials, art supplies and paints are included. In possession of the blue card and public liability.
About the Artist
Mieke van den Berg is a Mural Artist and has been painting magical experiences in private homes, businesses and public spaces for over 25 years. For a number of years, she was an instructor in a variety of sports including Outdoor Education. She also worked as a facilitator for a Creative Team Building program for clients such as Ernst & Young. Currently, she is studying towards a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Curtin University to increase her skills as an artist. Over the past couple of years, from her experience, she can see how differently students learn when working with an Artist oppose to an educator. Artists speak a different language full of excitement and imagination that resonates with the students and enables them to learn better. Students that are exposed and are engaged in making art learn better and this improves their mental wellbeing. It also teaches them skills needed or are reflected throughout their lives. She has combined her artistic and skills as an instructor and created an all-inclusive and engaging mural program for schools and community groups.