Education | Stanford Creative Works Projects

Stanford Creative Works (SCW) Mural Workshop

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11 December – 12 December 2016

Initiated by: Daniel Hewson

Supported by: Regina Broenner and Stanford Creative Works (SCW)

Made possible by: Marti Lund and Heidi Salzwedel

Introduction

Stanford Creative Works (SCW) has been operating in Stanford since 2011 when Regina Broenner started occupational therapy and art therapy in the region. October 2016 hailed the launch of the first book SCW book by David Krut Publishing titled, “Movement Breaks in the Classroom”. This book features a number of activities to promote movement and kinaesthetic learning.

Over the years, SCW has facilitated a number of mural workshops – in November 2013 Rheece Kriel and Daniel Hewson worked with volunteers in Stanford to initiate the creation of these murals. Though there was limited interaction between volunteers and community members, we managed to paint various artworks.

Then again, the production of murals in Stanford resurged in April 2014 when Jessica Hewson, Lucy-Stuart Clark and Daniel Hewson collaborated using their creative juices. This time was markedly different as we worked more closely with community members resulting in their participation in the painting of murals.

Now in December 2016, Marti Lund became involved in the facilitation, making it more formalized. He has considerable experience painting murals throughout South Africa and Mexico and has co-ordinated workshops with students too.

The mural workshop was made possible by a sponsorship from the Skills Exchange Co-Operative (SEC), a paint donation from Skyriders in Cape Town, David Krut Projects and the pro bono services of Marti Lund and Heidi Salzwedel.

This workshop formed part of the SCW Holiday Program for learners in Stanford. It runs from the 12 December – 16 December 2016.

The Workshop

Upon arrival in Stanford, Marti, Heidi and Dan joined Regina and went straight to the wall that the mural would be painted on, in order to get an idea of the scale of it. The wall forms the exterior of the Stanford Café which is en route to Die Bron school, where Regina runs workshops.

The workshop began with a drawing brainstorm that was facilitated by Marti Lund. It began with a group of 10 boys between the ages of 12 – 14 who drew a portrait of themselves with their eyes closed. They then drew a portrait of the friend beside them. Students were then asked to draw their inspirations about living in Stanford and to draw something that related to their future prospects and careers. In essence we asked them to draw their dreams and aspirations. To aid this experience, we also did a word brainstorm that connected to their drawings.

After this workshop Marti, Heidi and I looked through all the drawings and conceptualized the mural. Marti drew a piece taking aspects from the various students’ drawings and interweaving them into a complex mural.

On Sunday afternoon, we began outlining the various parts of the mural with the students from the earlier workshop. The main feature of the mural occurs on the corner of the building where a pattern of concentric circles were repeated. Marti evolved this feature by spraying flames into the circles. This theme arose from two students’ aspirations to be fire-fighters. Moving out from this circle are green leaves followed by repetitions of the mountains surrounding Stanford.

The students began painting flats of colour in the designated shapes that made up the mural.

The workshop continued on Monday morning at 9:30. We met the students who were part of Sunday’s workshop. The initial group expanded to include many more members of the community. This included a lot of teenagers up to the age of 19. By the end of the workshop we had worked with more than 30 students living in Stanford.

The participants were from different schools in Stanford and Napier. This workshop provided the opportunity for students from different age groups and schools to interact and work with each other, and in the process achieved a desired, cohesive result.

Conclusion

It was clearly evident that the participants loved the project and the interactions.

Marti, Heidi and I were very specific in that we wanted the conceptualisation of the mural to come from the community members which allowed us to simply provide facilitation, logistics and artistic support.

I sincerely hope that the murals continue in the town and that we return again to work on further walls. Too often with these projects, outsider artists come into a community, spend a day or two with youths and then leave never to return. This can give the impression of ‘tourist’ volunteers who view community service as a duty or a chore as opposed to really wanting to be there, making a difference and enjoying the process completely.

Many thanks to Regina Broenner, Howard Krut, Marti Lund, Heidi Salzwedel and David Krut who all made this project a reality.

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