"We Are Murray"
The Murray City Arts Advisory Board's mission is to promote the development, awareness and appreciation of, and participation in, the cultural arts and humanities in the city. To further their mission, the Arts Advisory Board acts as an advocate for the arts to be a significant element of the school curriculum.
Each year, as part of the art education element of their stewardship, the board chooses an art form for students to engage in that will enhance their education. This year, they have the opportunity to team up with Murray School District, the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Utah, and the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP), to produce the "Visual Arts Mural Project" for students within Murray City.
Follow the Project
We will be posting the projects ongoing progress through out the next several months on our Murray City Cultural Arts Facebook Page. Lead Professional Development Partner for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program - University of Utah region, Trish Saccomano, will also be reporting on the "Murray Mural Project" on the BTSALP website:
This school year (2018-2019), Murray School District has chosen the theme "We Are Murray" to help bring sense of belonging and pride to the students of each school. The students at each elementary were asked to draw what they felt being a part of their school represented. After this exercise, University undergraduate art majors, graduate art majors, and Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP) visual art specialists met with students from each elementary to talk about the student drawings and come up with ideas for a mural unique to their elementary school.
After meeting with the elementary schools, the University students and BTSALP visual art specialists, transformed the drawings and ideas from those conversations, into mural drafts themed specifically for each of the nine elementary schools.
Next, the University and BTSALP students will meet with Junior High and High school students for input on color palette and hear suggestions on additions or revisions that might be added to the drafts. Once the outlines are finalized, each design will be printed onto a
4' x 8' piece of canvass and set up at the Murray Amphitheater to be painted. Elementary, junior high, and high school students will be bused to the Murray Mansion to help the University and BTSALP students to paint the murals. One of the paint days will be opened to the public and local artists.
With the completion of all nine murals, each elementary will have their own mural specific to their school identity.
The University and BTSALP students met with Junior High and High School students for input on the nine elementary mural drafts. Professor and Studio Graduate Director for the University of Utah, Kim Martinez, taught the high school and junior high students the importance of color temperature and the use of a calligraphic black line around the figures to aid in creating depth in the designs. After the quick lesson, the students were handed copies of the mural drafts and asked to color the designs with the use of only 10 different colored pencils. That color palette will be used for all nine murals as an effort to keep the murals cohesive and consistent to each other.
Mini Composition & Color Lesson:
The use of mixed scales is quite common, partly because it allows the inclusion of elements readable from different distances and accommodates the inclusion of greater complexity. Mixing scales also allows the layering of information that invites the viewer to progressively discover the mural over several viewings and that invites different readings over a period of time.
The use of a black calligraphic line around the figures will also aid in creating depth. The changing width of the line will help create shade on the flat form, because we will depend on color and line to make depth and value.
In an effort to keep the nine murals cohesive, the color palette below will be used for each mural. Warm colors help bring images come forward and cool colors recede figures. For example, the first two colors are both yellow but one is a pure or intense yellow, while the other is a low intensity and cooler yellow. They have about a 30% difference in value. The intense yellow is warmer and lighter in value, thus it will help move a shape forward.
As the high school and junior high students began coloring the mural drafts, the University and BTSALP students walked around the room, sharing the concepts behind each mural and listening to any suggestions the high school or junior high students had on the design of the murals.
Once color was being applied, some found that additional lines needed to be added to help define a shape or space. As you see in the example, the sun could add more definition and color variety if the sun-rays were blocked instead of a single line.
At the end of the day, the University and BTSALP students learned how to improve the murals through the perspective and creativity of the high school and junior high students. Those same students will be invited to the Murray Mansion later in the year to help paint the final murals alongside the University and BTSALP students.
Next, the University and BTSALP students will make their final touches on the nine murals and paint a small scaled version of each mural on canvass to present to the Murray City Arts Advisory Board.
Many MANY years ago, not far from Murray, two teenagers attended the same high school. They did not run in the same crowd but knew of each other and had many similar friends and of course, were both Granite Farmers-proud of their community and their school. But their story did not end in high school.
Meet V. Kim Martinez and Lori Shepherd Edmunds, both lovers of everything artsy.
V. Kim Martinez is a professor of painting and drawing in the Department of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts, University of Utah, since fall 2001. Kim has an active visual artist record, exhibiting locally, notionally, and internationally. In 2003, Kim started a community arts project, Perspective REALIA (Research Engagement for Associative Learning in Arts) a course, which provides students the opportunity to propose, create, and implement public art in the form of mural designs and paintings throughout the Salt Lake City area, in an effort to create social change. Kim has always encouraged the use of art to foster a sense of community and democratic engagement.
Lori Edmunds shared her love for the arts through volunteering and found herself over the Arts Department in South Jordan City for over a decade. While working for South Jordan, Lori meet another art lover, Mary Ann Kirk, whom she has always admired.
Mary Ann Kirk started her work with Murray City as a volunteer, creating the Arts Advisory Board in 1986/87. At first, most of the programming was focused on utilizing the amphitheater and working with the 4 main local art organizations - Murray Arts Council (theater), Murray Symphony, Murray Concert Band, and the Ballet Center. Mary Ann was hired in 1992 as the first Cultural Programs Manager for Murray City in a 10 hour paid position. In her new role, she continued to work with the Arts Advisory board in surveying community needs for different art forms, skill levels, and different ages. Slowly they developed year round arts programming.
One of the age groups they focused on included the youth and the Arts Advisory Board began to map out a plan for the youth to enjoy a wide variety of arts as not only a patron but as a participant as well. They felt they could reach more children by working more closely with the schools for daytime instruction. Throughout the years, residencies focusing on three main art forms was established and became tradition offered to the schools. Dance, Music, and Visual Arts residencies are offered on a three year cycle.
After 25 years, Mary Ann Kirk decided to retire and Lori Edmunds was hired to take her place as Murray City Cultural Arts Program Manager. Lori reconnected with Kim Martinez at a Change Leader meeting that was sponsored by the Utah Department of Arts and Museum in 2017. So, when it came time to carry on the tradition of every third year offering a visual art experience to the students in Murray City, Lori knew just who to contact.
Stay tuned as the story, "Connecting Lives on Canvas" continues to unfold. Next episode Monday, November 5th!