Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beauty Out of Dirt

I posted the other day with some pictures of various murals that appear around the high school where I work (here), and I mentioned posting some pictures of the ceramics display. Ceramics 1 & 2 classes are comprised of mostly underclassmen. The sign in the display case says it all: CERAMICS 1 & 2 done by Mr. P's Vicious Students. Savage Work Ethic Can Create Beauty Out of Dirt." You be the judge. . .

This flower is about a foot wide and it is just beautiful. How do they do that? So delicate. . .

These gourd-like creations are fantastic. Some of them look like the lids actually come off, but I think most of that is faux. I love the speckles.

The blue bowl would be a beautiful vase.

Love the giraffe. I understand that it's very difficult to keep the neck so vertical. It's not on display right now, but there was a peacock about this same size with real peacock feathers for its tail.

Love the stem on this one, and the colors.

Ditto here.

These look more functional than the gourds, but no less beautiful. I can see the green platter as a cheese plate, and a couple of perfect roses in one side of the red vase, and oak leaf hydrangea in the other side.

And just because I love it so much, here's that red rose again. The teapot on the other side of it is awesome, too.

Monday, June 1, 2009

High School Art

Through a confluence of events a few years ago, I decided to pursue a job working for the local public school system. I've been many things professionally over the years, at many different rungs of the ladder, so taking a secretarial position initially seemed, well, a step down. But the schedule worked for me with kids still at home, and it let me cover the family's health insurance freeing R up to pursue other professional interests. I tried not to complain too much about the reduced intellectual stimulation, and R, trying to be supportive, would say that he wished HE could get so much time off in the summer. I remember replying that he too could work for one-tenth of what he thought he was worth and get the summers off.

Anyway, after a couple of years, I landed in one of the high schools. Still not the most challenging job I've ever had, but I really am enjoying the high school energy. One of my sons went to a rival high school so I tend to be biased in support of them, but the school where I work has some really talented kids. The 4th year art students get to paint murals, either on canvas to be mounted, or even painted directly on the walls. These are some of my favorites. I wish I knew how to credit them appropriately. The murals are done by AP Art students, all seniors.

I knew the girls in the first mural, and I have to say, the likenesses are fantastic. Not over romanticized; simple, accurate. It is painted on canvas, roughly 6' by 4', almost life-sized.

This next one is a work in progress, being painting directly on a stairway wall. The "save" is to indicate to the custodians that this isn't graffiti to be cleaned overnight. The creature is about 7' tall.

The brooding cat is one of my favorites. It is painted on canvas, also roughly 6' by 4', and looks as if it might leap right through the wall.

This is another of about the 6' by 4' size, and it makes me smile every time I see it. Simple, almost iconic. Very good detail.

Ceramics 1 & 2 classes are comprised of mostly underclassmen. I'll post some photos of their ceramics display another time, but I thought their display case sign was cute. In case you can't read it, it says "CERAMICS 1 & 2 done by Mr. P's Vicious Students. Savage Work Ethic Can Create Beauty Out of Dirt." And they did some fantastic renderings of strange but beautiful vegetables and fruits.

I hope the other high schools have as good a department as this one. Don't mean to sound maudlin, but seeing this kind of beauty here gives me some hope for the future. They are amazing! I applaud the teachers who foster this creativity.