Lincoln Elementary School Artwork

Lincoln Elementary School Artwork

Sheila Baker's Grade Four Class, 2018, Lincoln Elementary School.

Once upon a time I attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, graduated with a BFA in 1974, and then moved on to other things, eventually making the Army my career.  The Army in turn gave me the opportunity to earn a Master's degree in War Studies through the Royal Military College in Kingston and with courses at UNB.  Somewhere along the line, Sheila Baker with Lincoln Elementary School contacted Ruth Clayborn seeking an artist to assist with a grade four art project to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary in 2018.  Ruth remembered some artwork I had done 40 years ago, currently with my mother in Carleton County.  Ruth called her mother, Doris, who called my mother Beatrice who called me to ask me to help.  Well, the invitation led to my working with 18 grade fours to put together a four foot by eight foot mural.  Sheila took a photo of the class posing imaginatively on the playground.  I outlined their silouettes on the door-sized plywood and we began to paint the background, with three students at a time on the floor in Lincoln Elementary School. We cutout the 18 silouette shapes on foam artists card as well as 18 life size maple leaves and each student put their personalized impressions on their silouettes and leaves.  We used gorilla glue to attach everything and after many strokes of paint the end product went up on the wall near the front entrance to the school.  In keeping with their vision, these grade four students felt their artwork should have a name, and after much discussion, it has been entitled "The Uniqueness".

"The Uniqueness"

Well, this year, the new grade four class came up with a fresh project, only they wanted to do something with recycled plastic bottle caps - orange juice (orange), peanut butter (green), mayonaise (blue), milk (red, white and blue) and various other caps.  The interesting thing is what they wanted to make with it - the school's mascot emblem is a lion, and they wanted one in rainbow colours!  I picked up a four foot by four foot sheet of masonite and outlined a lion's head on it.  The students proceeded to sort and outline the shape with several thousand plastic caps.  After several attempts, trial and error, they chose to use linked patterns to make it work, then I sat down and using carpenters glue, attached them as they had laid them out.  The Lincoln Elementary School Rainbow Lion has more than 980 caps on it (hard to count, a few have to be replaced every so often).

Lincoln Elementary School Rainbow Lion. Made out of recycled plastic bottle caps on a 4-foot-by-4-foot sheet of plywood! I drew the outline, the students placed the caps in a rainbow pattern and we all took turns gluing the caps in place.

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