Client: New York City Public School
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Completion date: 2013
Art Teacher at NYC Public School
Emanuela Frattini Magnusson
Under the tutelage of professional ceramic artists, architects, and designers, 500 students of a New York City public school created a ceramic tile installation for the school’s lobby. Imagined and executed by the students, the Four Seasons Mural, shows the school within an intricate scene of its neighborhood and surrounding iconic New York City buildings, incorporating winter, spring, summer and fall seasonal trees reflected in the Hudson River.
After six months of preparation through in-class curriculum and after school workshops and more than 5,000 hours including instruction on how to work with ceramic material, tile glazing, pointillism, blueprints, using a kiln, overall artistic collaboration and team coordination, each student painted a tile that together made the whole -- a 20’ W x 8’ H cityscape. The theme was conceived by the 6th and 7th graders. Artist, Edgartista, sketched the image as per the students' specifications. The artist drawing was applied to a grid and divided into segments. Each student was assigned a tile image which they practiced painting on paper before applying their hand to ceramic. The entire student body participated in this project ranging from grades K-7. The complexity of the image was assigned to each student according to their age and capability. They worked in groups to ensure that each tile related and fitted to the next. The tiles were glazed and baked, and then installed by professional tilers. Architects, designers and artists volunteered to assist, mentor and teach the students through each phase of the project.
This artful effort was made possible by Operation Design, an organization that provides professional mentorships between architects, designers, and artists and New York City public school students. Video director, Rick Kaplan, is a graduate of Julliard and former Paramount Films writer. He started Sherpa Productions in 2001 and has produced, shot, or edited music videos, documentaries, commercials, interactive experiences and corporate campaigns for some of our world’s most influential brands, renown rock groups, fashion photographers and feature film directors.