Creating a Political Mural

Activity Steps:

1. Review:
Think about why artists choose to paint murals. Study how Diego Rivera and others used symbols and layered images in the foreground and background to build an interesting composition.
2. Design:
Divide into small groups. Think of an issue that is relevant to your group (you may want to use some of the ideas or pictures you gathered for other activities in this unit). Brainstorm ideas for the images and symbols you want to use. Appoint two students to make a first sketch of the mural on paper. As a group, discuss the sketch and agree on changes to it.
3. Produce:
Work together as a group to transfer the final paper sketch to a large piece of paper or cardboard.
4. Critique:
Discuss which murals have the clearest message and the best composition and style. Which ones are the most creative? How did you work as a team to handle decision making and divide up the tasks? What could have made the project better?
5. Go Public:
With permission, hang your murals in the school hallways. Label them with their titles and the artists' names. If possible, place a blank notebook and pencil near the murals and ask viewers to write comments in it. When you later review the notebooks' contents as a class, describe and discuss the public's reaction.
6. Reflect:
In your journal, describe how effective your mural was in communicating its message. Did making a work of public art change the way you think about art? If you could place this mural anywhere in your city or town, where would you put it, and why?