Native America, 2010
Mary Noel Ellis Hall and the 5th Grade Class
Acrylic on facing fabric, wood-mounted
The theme of this mural, Native America, is one that the kids really embraced, having spent a good part of the beginning of the school year immersed in the study of early America and its native people. Under the direction of visiting artist, Mary Noel Ellis Hall, this project evolved into a collaboration between students, faculty, and artists.
Each class was assigned a region of Native America--the Southwest, the Woodlands, the Northwest, or the Plains. Each region would be represented on a mural panel, worked by the class assigned to that region.
Mary met with the kids earlier this year and brainstormed, class by class, on the visual priorities that should be included on their assigned panels. She also had each student sketch an image that would become their individual painting on the mural. Based on the student’s priorities, Mary designed the background of each panel and projected and traced her design on large cloth panels. She scanned and enlarged the students’ sketches, then traced them on individual pieces of cloth for the kids to paint.
On paint days in April, under the leadership of Mary and with assistance from their teachers and parent volunteers, the kids painted their individual designs, and worked as a group painting the background of the large panels. Each class took part in placing and “gelling” (or gluing) their individual designs on to their class panel to populate their assigned region with images of the animals, plants, housing, tools, and people that would be found in that environment. The end result is a spectacular visual representation of the four major regions of Native America depicted on four massive panels.
The murals are mounted on wooden panels and installed along the 1st floor hallway at SRS.Project Chair: Kimberly Collins Scott
About the Artist
Mary Noel Ellis Hall is a painter and mural artist from the Philadelphia area. She studied drawing, painting, sculpture, and illustration at Moore College of Art, where she earned her BFA and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Mary has worked on more than 20 murals in and around Philadelphia and the suburbs and has lots of experience working with kids painting murals.