Washington Middle School is located in the heart of Honolulu on the corner of King and Punhahou streets. We have an extremely diverse population attending from 6th to 8th grade. Art Club which began in 2010 is currently working on it's third mosaic mural and wanted to make a design that celebrated our diversity.
Students attend Art Club after school facilitated by myself, the 6th grade art teacher. Our goal is to beautify our school and have demonstrated this through mosaics. We choose mosaics as the medium, because it is hearty enough to withstand the elements and is virtually maintenance free. We did our first mosaic on the corner on our main administration building. The second is located on King street side by our parking lot. This last one that we are currently working on will be mounted behind our stage where our school holds assemblies.
Leah Kilpatrick Rigg and her father Doug Kilpatrick have graciously helped us along the way with the three mosaic murals. I contacted them in 2010, and they gladly stepped into the teaching role giving up their own free time to come and teach the kids and myself about the process.
Students designed the mural. They learned how to glaze tiles, make clay slabs, use nippers to break tiles, and to grout. Not only did students learn the physical and aesthetic roles of creating this mosaic mural, but they also learned to work together in tight spaces, appreciate everyone’s different styles and techniques, and figure out ways to harmonize these differences. Students gave up hours and hours of their free time. They even came over Christmas and Spring Breaks.
A few teachers, counselors, and a custodian also helped piece together some of the mural puzzle. We are currently about half way through the project but are optimistic that we will finish by the end of the school year in May.
Funded by Oahu, HI (July 2018)