Submitted by: Michelle Kelly UNIT: Renaissance art - Sidewalk Art/Festival Lesson: Sidewalk Chalk Painting Grade Level: High School (adaptable to middle school)
An idea that went over well with my highly burnt-out AP students after we mailed out the last portfolio, was a sidewalk chalk festival. I researched examples and history on the internet and shared them with the class. Known as "I Madonnari" in Italy, (I Madonnari means "street painter" in Italian) we got a lot of impressive results. One of the more impressive examples were the work of Kurt Wenner. The students worked out their ideas for a week on large butcher paper. Then we spent an entire school day as an in school field trip, drawing outside, the gods blessed us with a perfect day. The event was judged and prizes were awarded. The students only took a 30 minute pizza break even though they could have taken more. They were all impressed with each other, but not as impressed as the rest of the school, teachers and administration. It was a terrific artistic release as well as a day they are still talking about. We filmed, edited and burnt a DVD to remember. Hope this will do as a good "what to do after the AP portfolio is all done idea". Not all of the ideas were original ideas - but it was a great release.
3D Pavement Art - Artists like Edgar Müller and Tracy Lee Stum create street art that's so incredible it is almost impossible to pass by without being sucked in to the worlds they create on asphalt.
NOTE: There is a scene in the movie, Mary Poppins, where an artist colors a street picture with colored chalk. Two children, Mary Poppins, and Dick Van Dyke jump into the chalk picture and it comes alive. This might make a good introduction to the lesson. (The link is only part of that section. You can cue up the movie
if you wish.)