The first full week, November 5- 8 was quite an adjustment. I returned to the school to finalize my work schedule and determine when each class would have an art class with me or join in on the mural painting. The school director, teachers and I established a schedule in which the students will participate during what would be their art education class. Since the school does not have an art teacher having them participate in the mural activities works out well.
After painting 7 murals between Dominican Republic and the U.S. I have learned that it is vital to have others help carry out the vision of the project. I know I am a good project manager and as the artist and project lead with the elementary school beautification I am incorporating lessons learned in my 5 years working since undergrad is that a good leader knows how to let others provide their own skills and input and make clear the long-term and short-term goals. The director, Josefina Paulino Cuello, is a gem. She is dedicated, enthusiastic and supportive of the project and makes sure to introduce me to key players like the parents association, teachers and helpful students. I am working with a colleague who is a local artist. I am happy to have a collaborating artist working with me because I would not enjoy the work as much if I did not have a skilled and committed person joining in on the fun and hot sun! We have arrived at the school Tuesday-Friday, November 5-8 from 9:30-4 to prep the wall and interact with the students. They have tons of questions and ideas and the most consistent thing I hear from them is their excitement to draw or paint. The students will begin drawing once the mural design is transferred and the colors are labeled, like a paint by numbers. The design transfer requires skill and technique so we have only incorporated the help from a few students. The sun is bright and it is hot so we have to keep hydrated and depending on where the sun is shining at the time we paint, breaks are a must.
Below is a photo timeline of the process and steps we have accomplished.