When ICMS Art Teacher Jessica Bullers heard from her principal, Loryn Venekamp, about an idea to have a raven’s wings hallway mural (which Mrs. Venekamp first saw on the web), she immediately – excuse the pun – took off with the concept.
“First, I asked one of my skilled drawing students, Riley Peters (8th grade), to look up some raven feathers to draw,” Ms. Bullers recounts. “From Riley’s drawings, I created three types of feather stencils. Then I presented the stencils and raven wings idea to my Art Legacy Club” (notably, the club has a community art focus). After experimenting with a variety of media, including acrylic, tempura, and watercolor, the students landed on tempura as the best choice. The feathers were painted with blue and black tempura. Then prismacolor pencils were used to trace feather stencils onto the paintings and to develop the unique patterns featured on each feather. “This is where we see the individuality of each artist come into play,” she adds.
The final step involved cutting out the feather art pieces then gluing them individually to a base of large wings. Students from all three grades contributed to the project. However, Ms. Bullers credits the Art Legacy Club for the bulk of the work, including the project planning and design. She notes with pride that “many of the club members came in after school on non-club-meeting days so that we could finish the project.” The project took all of the first quarter and part of the second to complete. As Ms. Bullers declares, “We think it was worth it!”
“The purpose of this project was to create something for our school that promotes school pride, collaboration, and community,” she continues. “The piece is really about unity.” It worked.
When the finished product was wall-mounted on a bulletin board in the west wing near the art room, then the photo shoots broke out, as faculty and students were eager to pose with the wings mural. The piece is also being put to work in a formal sense, as students who are recognized as Raven of the Week are having their photos taken “with their wings on.”
Mrs. Venekamp comments, “Ms. Bullers and the Art Legacy Club really embraced this project, which was actually very time consuming and tedious. We were excited to call it an ‘installation’ work so it can hang in our west wing for a long time.”
Be sure to check out photos of this project — and other great works of ICMS student art — at Ms. Bullers’ blog: https://icmsartblog.blogspot.com/.