Making of a Mural at Lincoln Park Middle School

Making of a Mural at Lincoln Park Middle School


I think we’re going
to paint today. KAREN SUNDERMAN
(VOICEOVER): Eighth graders in Miss Valento’s art class
at Lincoln Park Middle School and art students at the
College of St. Scholastica practice the fine
art of collaboration. JONATHAN THUNDER:
This is our last day together here at the
building, so glad you guys could be here to help out. KAREN SUNDERMAN
(VOICEOVER): The design draws on ideas from the kids
and Thunder’s signature style to create a distinctive
mural for the school. JONATHAN THUNDER:
So this mural is an image that is concepted
by the work of students who are asked to hand
in drawings based on their feelings of growing
up in Duluth, growing up in Lincoln Park. The whole class did– like, did a couple of cool
drawings, like, as a group. And then we, like,
handed them in and he said he would put,
like, a couple of our things. JONATHAN THUNDER: It kind
of looks like a sturgeon. My job was to take
all the drawings and turn them into
one cohesive mural image that could be projected
onto this canvas here. And then the students
would sit and work on it. You know, a lot of this stuff
here will need outlining. So if you feel like it, I
would just have you go along, like this right here,
maybe down this edge. One of the things that I
like about this kind of work is that it sort of reminds me
of, like, comic book style. Yeah, it makes everything
pop and look super clean. JENNIFER TARAY: I’ve been
visiting the Lincoln Park Middle School since
the beginning stages of planning out this mural. So I got to see
the concept design when Jonathan Thunder
brought in the design he had made from all of
the kids sketches, and– Maybe I’ll mix you enough
for that skateboarder, too. JENNIFER TARAY: It was cool
to see all the kids get excited about seeing their
own designs put in the mural, and then, you know, blocking it
in on the panels and painting. It’s been interesting
to see it transform. It’s more like everyone’s
art, because it really isn’t one individual’s. JONATHAN THUNDER:
It’s looking good. I don’t think you need me
to draw that in for you. PAUL LAJEUNESSE: I
mean, collaboration, it requires a different
way of making things in that you have to have– some, it’s a little bit
of a division of labor, but there’s also a lot
of trust that’s required. The biggest learning experiences
for everyone, myself included, is how to allow people
to work on it, you know, especially if you’re trying to–
you have an idea in your mind what the product is going to be. And then, you
know, things change as multiple people work on it. JONATHAN THUNDER: What if
I have you come over here to this panel, and if you can
kind of, like, get in here and maybe you just carry
that line that you made there through here and here. In the concepting,
I integrated my– my style with their style. That was part of my
job as the designer is to sort of take
what they put together and then kind of bring it
a little bit into my lens. So that’s– that’s
where you’ll see some– like this gal will have
three bunny ears and then an antler, which
is a theme that I’m working with this year
on multiple projects. [music playing] So you’re welcome to put more
stars on there if you want, but also use that as a guide. They followed along. They followed along, as we
kind of evolved the concept, and they’re– you know, they
still feel like they have ownership over it. PAUL LAJEUNESSE:
Let’s keep doing this until we think it looks right. SHYLA: I think it was
a pretty fun process. I learned a few
painting techniques and what it’s like to have to
work together with other people instead of just doing
your own artwork. PAUL LAJEUNESSE:
You know, you’re learning to work with people. You’re learning how to
communicate effectively. You’re learning how to teach. You’re learning how to
learn from other people at the same time. DELAYNA: Kind of fascinating
to see other people work on this thing,
and then see it after a couple of
weeks or something. PAUL LAJEUNESSE: There are
a lot of more effective ways of doing things that
you don’t realize until you are around
someone else working on it. And so, you know, we’re all
learning at the same time. DELAYNA: I was one of the
first people to work on this, and it was just a neutral
blue with some outline. And then now that I
see it with most– the flat color,
it’s getting better with all the shapes and
stuff going together. I think it’s really cool
to see how you start off at the beginning and, like,
a lot of people not knowing as much. And then, like–
like, including me, because I have no
idea what I’m doing. But then you get
towards what you– at the end, and you see
how everyone kind of, like, touched that and
touched this and how it’s all cohesive in one
big really cool painting. YAVIN: I like the lighthouse. I like a lot of it. I don’t know. JONATHAN THUNDER:
The space explorer represents the
adventure, you know, that will take place after these
young people leave Lincoln Park Middle School. And they will go
out into the world, they’ll go out into the
universe and do great things. And they’ll always have this
beacon of light showing them the way home, where they came
from, because they will always have come from here. KAREN SUNDERMAN:
What do you think it’s going to be like to see
it on the wall at school? I think it’s going
to be pretty cool. Because people will
be looking at it when it’s in its finished product,
and I can be like, wow, I helped make that.

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