New Year! New Residency! New Book!

I’ve been working with Milwaukee Environmental Science Academy to create a new book this year. Over 200 kids along with the entire staff are working with me to write and illustrate a picture book based on their school’s character traits. The staff started the project in early January, collaging and designing the cover for our book. The school’s mascot is the yellow jacket, which is why we chose to feature them on our cover. In the next two months, the students will work with me to illustrate the interior page spreads, as well as write the story. Each page spread will feature text created around one of the school’s character traits, combined with the image of a tree and a Wisconsin animal. The big idea in the book is that just like a tree needs water, air, and nutrient rich soil to grow, we need character traits like integrity, grit, stewardship, respect, leadership, and craftsmanship to grow into strong and beautiful additions to the earth. While these illustrations will serve as the page spreads in the book, we will also have them enlarged and printed on 4′ x 6′ vinyl to be used to decorate the school. The project is made possible through funding from Arts@Large.

Milwaukee Environmental School Mural Installed!

I just installed the 9′ x 33′ tree mural for the Milwaukee Environmental School, which includes almost 500 metal engraved leaves. Each leaf was created by a student as either a self portrait or a designed word that featured one of their schools six character traits: Respect, Grit, Craftsmanship, Leadership, Integrity, and Stewardship. Even the parents joined in and created a leaf for the tree. The art residency took place during three months in the Spring. Over 200 K4-7th grade students worked with me on this mural. The project was funded by Arts@Large and a grant from Toyota Family Learning.

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33 Foot Mural at Milwaukee Environmental Sciences School

Shimmerling--Wall Hangings3I’m working with the students over at the Milwaukee Environmental Sciences School, creating a 33 foot mural that will showcase a grouping of six trees similar to the Shimmerling Wall Hangings. The K4-6th grade students are using the school’s six character traits—Integrity, Grit, Leadership, Craftsmanship, Stewardship and Respect to inspire the artwork. Each student is creating two leaves for the trees—a self portrait and a designed leaf with inspired by the character trait assigned to their classroom. They will also create a leaf to take home as a souvenir from the residency. This project is funded by Arts@Large and a grant from Toyota Family Learning.

MES TREE MURAL sketch