Just in time for the start of the school year, “The Story Grove” will be welcoming students back to the library at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School in Davis. Two teaching artists have installed a ceramic mural created in the last school year by students who were in kindergarten, first and second grades.
Teaching artists, JuliAnn Blanco and Rene Martucci of Davis, were able to coordinate this student centered public art installation as a part of their work for the ArtMix program offered by YoloArts in elementary school classrooms throughout Yolo County. The mural features students’ artistic expressions about reading and learning. Students painted letters in bright colors on ceramic tiles, forming a border at the base of the mural that spell thoughtful words floating above and around the pillars. Low relief clay images depicting characters from children’s literature, fairy tales and nursery rhymes fill in the trunk of two life size mosaic trees. The tree trunks also feature the sculpted faces of people meant to represent the tellers and consumers of stories. Sculpted hands created by the students make up the leaves of the trees glazed in green and symbolizing creating and writing. The painted elements of the design consist of two life-sized silhouettes of a boy on one pillar and a girl on the other seated on grassy rolling hills in two colors of green against a bright blue sky.
Artists Martucci and Blanco were assisted in the installation by a team that included volunteers Lisa and Tom Lengtat, Cristina Blanco and Crystal Heung. Teachers at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School were instrumental in the project’s creation and completion, along with the students whose artistic talents are seen throughout “The Story Grove.”
The school-based art education program, ArtMix, is made possible by YoloArts with support from the Yocha Dehe Community Fund, and the teachers, parents and staff of Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School.
For more information on the art education programs of YoloArts, call 530-406-4844, or visit the website at www.yoloarts.org.