This project, based on the mural design methods of Bernard Williams, was presented by him to the Contemporary Community Curriculum Workshop in February 2000.

Collaborative Wall Collections

The most significant aspects of a structure often go unnoticed. In Art Education, the building blocks of most curricula are the individual student art projects--each student works alone, exploring the concept of creativity solely within the paradigm of Western, individual creative genius. Yet creativity has many forms. Some argue that all creative expression is a result of a collectivity, of the zeitgest, the times, the community of discourse. Similarly, much contemporary learning theory focuses on the ecology of the classroom--a collective, rather than an individual and competitive model of learning.

The Collaborative Wall Collections project is a powerful tool for investigating and presenting thematic material to the school community. It’s an ideal way to integrate artmaking into other areas of the curriculum. Students consider symbolic and diagrammatic forms of representation, experiment with the effect that the juxtaposition of images has on the creation of meaning, and experience the sense of accomplishment, community, and communication that comes from creating a large scale dramatic piece. The effort to impact ratio for this project is excellent--a few dollars in art supplies and a week of class time gives art students and the entire school community a vivid experience in reshaping the visual environment.

This project involves the display and arrangement of individual elements, created or collected, by members of the collaborative group. The elements brought to the group become the material out of which the final work is constructed.