From May 1st to May 9th, screen painter John Iampieri worked with first and second grade students from Thomas Jefferson Elementary/Middle School to complete three large screen paintings to be installed in their school cafeteria. A 100 year old Baltimore tradition, Mr. Iampieri guides the students through screen painting concepts of contrast, how to properly hold a foam brush, and cleanliness practices.”Everyone wear an apron, it will not come out of your clothes. But if the paint gets on your skin – it’ll stay there for weeks!” He teases, reassuring the students the water soluble paint will come off with soap and water.
During the third work day on Wednesday, May 3rd, parents and community members were invited to work with the students, teachers, and visiting artist to help complete the screen paintings. Twenty-five parents, residents, and other volunteers rotated shifts throughout the week to help paint with the students. Carrie L. Evans, board member of the local community association helped bring in volunteers for the week and remarked that this is the first time in 12 years that a project of this scale has been completed.
“For a lot of the [volunteers] this is their first time in the school. This was a good way to get them in here for a short period of time to work directly with the kids and see the school. It has been amazing because the community has been able to interact with the parents. All of them have been responsive and excited. ” – Carrie L. Evans
The arts-integrated lesson for the day focused on history and geography of Chesapeake Bay, and how to build social interactions through screen painting. At the beginning of the week, the students helped form the curriculum and the imagery that would be used in the murals. The students began brainstorming concepts for the mural by discussing where food we commonly comes from, the importance of healthy food, and building community around healthy eating practices. After research and discussion, the students created visual collages and storyboards that would serve as inspiration for their final imagery in three large screen paintings. The murals depict crops, farmers markets, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Please join us tonight for a community paint night and the unveiling of the final screen paintings! There will be remarks by teachers Dr. Norwitz and Ms. Holly, and city councilman Kristerfer Burnett.
Community Paint Night
Tuesday, May 9th
Thomas Jefferson Elementary/Middle School
605 Dryden Dr, Baltimore, MD 21229
This project is supported by Arts Every Day’s Impact Fund which provides 4-5 AED partner schools with up to $5,000 to implement an outcome based art project that connects to the surrounding community. Learn more about all the winners here!