Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pigs on Parade

When I was teaching in the US in 2001, Seattle had its first porktastic public art display: Pigs on Parade.  Creative pigs sprouted up all over the city as a fundraiser for Pike's Place market.  Inspired, my Grade 2 and 3 art kids each brainstormed and created their own very imaginative piggies and soon (ok, not too soon-- they took about 1.5 months to finish...) they were on display all over the school.  Each pig was accompanied by a short bio (My name is Fairy Pig, I come from Outer Space and eat marshmallows... ) and a photo of the artist.

I've done the pigs at several other schools since then and it's always a very successful community oriented project. I'd love to do a camel project for my current post. :)

A few notes about making the pigs:

-the construction is easy but takes time-- paper mache a balloon for the body and for the legs/snout either cut up egg cartons or paper towel tubes. 

-it takes a few layers of paper mache on the first session for it to be strong enough to survive a week between art classes (otherwise when the balloon deflates the whole thing collapses because the paper mache layer was too thin).  In other words, have two (or even three) kids work on one balloon until every child has a strong base to work from.  Make sure they complete 2 layers using construction paper.  I use one color of paper for each layer so they can clearly see where any gaps are.  I also pre-rip the paper and have everything set up in advance before the kids walk in the door.  Time is money during those first few sessions!

-when painting, have the kids do the whole pig on one color first.  Once that's done well and dried, they can add more colors or details.  Acrylic paint will look much nicer than tempera on these.

-for the eyes, the kids had lots of success drawing them with Sharpies on paper, cutting and gluing them on.  These will turn out a lot more neatly than trying to paint them on with  big brush.

Here are a few of the the "real" Pike's Place piggies:

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