Community Creativity with Street Art and iPad.

In our local community (Cork, Ireland) we have some incredible street artists who have for the past number of years been creating street art and murals across our city.

When completing my Apple Teacher Portfolio last year I was wondering how we could make this into a classroom activity and last year trialed it with a few classes using an image of a blank advertising space in our community.

Students used this blank space with their favourite drawing app to create advertisements for tourism in their community.

Suggested apps

Beginner - Photos or Keynote with Markup. Keynote shapes are great for students who may not be as confident at drawing.

Intermediate - Sketches School or Procreate. 

Goal of this assessment is to introduce students to drawing while creating a school mural or a piece of street art based on their school vales. 

These might include community, creativity, environment, inclusion. 

Image showing 3 examples advertising local tourism
Image showing 3 examples advertising local tourism

When doing this I like to provide creative references for students.

In Cork our local reference would be Ardú Street Art. These have been a great creative asset to our community.

One such collaboration is below and was a culmination of workshops with St Vincent’s Secondary school and celebrates young women who lived in the area 100 years ago as well as today.

 

Street mural showing young women who lived in the area 100 years ago as well as today.
Street mural showing young women who lived in the area 100 years ago as well as today.

Creativity is not limited to a flat wall or blank space and can also take the form of various painted structures.

This summer I have also visited other communities to see the art their schools have created. One example being the 'Boyertown Bears' in collaboration with Bear Fever which are at home in Boyertown, Philadelphia. The collection has over 70 bears scattered across the town with creative contributions from their local elementary, high school and youth club students.

 

Collage showing 35 of the Boyertown bears on display.
Collage showing 35 of the Boyertown bears on display.

In the past I have also visited the LBI Clams in New Jersey created in conjunction with Reclam the Bay an initiative who's mission is to work with local academics to educate the public and restock a decimated shellfish population.

 

Reclam the bay collage featuring several painted clam shells from LBI, New Jersey.
Reclam the bay collage featuring several painted clam shells from LBI, New Jersey.

Now returning for our final example. Local schools in my hometown paint reindeers statues each Christmas. Each primary school is given a reindeer to design and it is always something to look forward to when their annual creations are revealed.

 

Painted reindeer statue on a green area.
Painted reindeer created by a local school

So to leave you with some questions. Does your community have a creative space where students can contribute to art? If they do please share examples in the comments. If consider this creative activity.


Tagged in: Creativity, Drawing

All Comments

Posted on August 28, 2022

Such a wonderful idea to connect students to art in their community while they are practicing art. In the suburbs where I taught there was not a lot of street art. But my photography students would take transit into the city and I remember some amazing photographs of artistic graffiti. I’ve also seen some beautiful murals painted on the school walls by students. I love to see student integrate their photography and their drawings.

Thanks for sharing these amazing art projects! They certainly spark some ideas.

Posted on August 28, 2022

That is what ours used to be like too Cheryl my photography students would take photos of local graffiti and we would have conversations comparing graffiti and what they named 'grossfitti' (bad looking graffiti). It has been pretty cool seeing the city change and develop a creative culture so that instead of just discussions students can now actively contribute to new creations.

Posted on August 28, 2022

Such a cool idea, Miriam! 🤩

I love the idea of bringing learning outside of the school walls and the themes you suggest to them!

Posted on August 28, 2022

Love this idea! I have a similar project for my high school Photography students. We study street artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey, watch the documentary Exit Through The Giftshop, then they design an installation similar to the ones you outline here. Exciting to see how you and your students are approaching this concept of art in context of a community.

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