Fall 2016: For Design I’s final project, I wanted to do a collaborative vinyl installation similar to one my class did a couple years ago as blogged about HERE, but in a location with more permanency to be enjoyed by the public. Getting students outside of the classroom to put their skills to use opens them up to the realization that the things they are learning in this freshman level class has meaning and a place in the world.
I contacted Suddeth Elementary School in Starkville, MS to gauge their interest in the project. They happily accepted, and they considered windows throughout their campus that would be an inviting place for colorful vinyl stickers. This hallway with two sets of windows was chosen by their faculty committee for this project:
Next we had to determine a theme. Suddeth’s faculty committee decided to illustrate quotes based on kindness per set of windows: Plant Kindness, Grow Love and Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti.
My class was split so half were to work on one quote, and the other half focusing on the other quote. Each student brainstormed with a series of thumbnails, and I helped them narrow down to their best idea to be drawn in more detail on proportionally gridded spaces on typing paper in relation to the window dimensions. Then my students voted on the strongest sketches in the class, 3 designs for each quote for a total of 6 ideas.
I invited Principle Mosley to come to our class for a presentation of the top 6 sketches to choose the top theme for each quote. School counselor Mrs. Caradine joined her. After the presentations, they consulted their faculty committee and chose the final designs (labeled as WINNERs below).
Below are images of the top 6 sketches and presentations :
Plant Kindness, Grow Love
Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti
Meghan and Melissa were so excited to have their designs chosen!
I scanned in their designs and worked on various color combinations using Adobe Illustrator, only using yellow, blue, red, and green. I also added a fun elementary-feel typeface for the text in place of their sketched handwriting.
The vinyl was ordered and shipped, so it was time to cut out the stickers! The digital images were projected to scale onto our classroom wall. Students traced off the shapes onto the corresponding colors of vinyl with Sharpies, and handed them off to another group who cut out the shapes with an X-acto knife and peeled away the unnecessary background vinyl. Then large-surface masking tape was applied on top of the vinyl sticker and labeled to be fully prepped to operate as a sticker for installation day.
Finally it was installation day! Students carpooled over to the school that rainy morning and we got to work.
The project was featured on Mississippi State University’s “State Spotlight” blog on December 8th and MSU’s College of Architecture, Art + Design blog on December 7th.
We greatly appreciate the opportunity of Suddeth Elementary School opening up their hallway for us to use as canvases, and hope the children and faculty enjoy these art installations for many years to come!