Art Workshop: Dissecting a mural

Modern Art 4 Kids recently worked with Today's Urban Renewal Network for their annual Parent's Night Out at Christmastime.

We even got a little mention in our local newspaper, which was really cool.

During this art workshop, we offered two stations: the children could create collages (with glitter pens, which were a huge hit), as well as draw with markers. On the outside patio, Michael offered a paint workshop, which was the second station.

Needless to say, the kids made a beeline for the patio so they could paint with actual spray paint. I have no hard feelings. I don't blame the kids for wanting to experiment with spray paint!

We laid out a large square of canvas material. The children had the opportunity to paint with acrylics and brushes and/or spray paint. This is an activity that requires adequate ventilation as well as face masks. For this particular event, the word "Hope" was drawn on the canvas, so the children could have a starting point. There is nothing more defeating than staring at a blank canvas.

After so many eager hands touched it, the painting took on a life of its own, as all really good art projects tend to do. They added black at the end, to define the shapes and give the piece a finished look. Once the painting was done and it dried, Michael cut it up into large squares. He then stapled each panel onto its own individual frame. Several of the kids who worked on this project from beginning to end were rewarded for their efforts and got to take a painting home. They were extremely proud and happy with their accomplishment.

When you work with middle school aged children and up, you have to be prepared for a certain amount of attitude. Lots of times, they are perfectly happy to bypass whatever it is you have planned to teach them. They would much rather text or talk to their friends. But what I noticed was, the minute some of these kids became invested in their project, their attitude just vanished. They were really into their artwork, they were quiet, at peace, and focused. And that is quite a breakthrough. It also displays the power of art and creative expression in a person's life.

Filling in the canvas with shapes and color.

Painting with aerosol cans is much more challenging than you'd think.


Adding the black really defined the shapes.

After the paint dried, Michael cut the canvas into squares. Then they stretched each panel onto its own individual frame. In this pic, they are attaching the canvas to the frame with a staple gun.

The final result. Michael, with several children who participated on this project. They were extremely happy and proud to be a part of this event.

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  1. I'm inspired! My son will go away to school shortly after his 16th birthday. I think we'll use the mural idea at his birthday party. That way he'll have some art for his dorm room and a fun way to remember his friends.

  2. Tifani, thanks for stopping by. I think it would make a great birthday activity. I just might use the idea myself. :-)

  3. This looks like so much fun! I want to be on that patio, too. So inspiring and engaging.

  4. Me too, Barbara! I was stuck inside doing collages when I wanted to be outside where the action was!

  5. Girl!! This is so great! I'm thinking it will be repeated on the East Side.

  6. So fun! My little girl has been allowed to use the spray paint ever since she had the finger-strength to do so at nearly six years old. As soon as the other parents in our circle let their kiddos paint, too, we're totally goint to try this!


Artistically speaking....

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