Jane Golden, well-known director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, visited an art class and then gave a morning presentation for the entire Middle School as Germantown Academy's special guest this winter. As part of a reciprocal event, our sixth grade students traveled to Philadelphia to see the "Love Letters" in April. While on the "Love Letter" tour, students learned about the artists and the motivations behind their artwork.
Prior to the presentation, Golden was treated to the Middle School art gallery and then came to Middle School Art Teacher Liz Buckman's art class where students were participating in blind contour portrait exercises.
"This is typically used as a warm-up in art that encourages students to try and really 'see' what they are drawing," said Buckman. "Jane Golden mentioned that it looked like a fun assignment which helps students do what is typically rather difficult for them."
Golden went on to speak to the Middle School about how she got Mural Arts off the ground. She got neighborhood communities on board, got funding from the state, and showed how art can be powerful by bringing everyone together. During a Mural Arts project, formerly incarcerated individuals paint side-by-side with world-renowned artists and learn how art can lead them down a new path in life.
Head of Middle School Jonas Jeswald invited Golden to expose students to the art of the mural and stated, "The message was inspiring. Jane Golden showed students how determined she was by refusing to accept the answer 'no.'"