Art. Family. Success.

May 22, 2013

Family Mural at Marin

Augusto Bordelois is a Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio Professional Teaching Artist. He worked with the students at Luis Munoz Marin to create a mural that celebrates and honors the nationalities of all of the school’s students, encouraging them to embrace their heritage and support the rich diversity in their community.

Family Mural at Marin_5

First, the students all took surveys about their nationalities. Students then researched their national animal, flower, and bird. Initially, Augusto was going to incorporate all 3 items into the mural, but this school is so rich with diversity that he decided to take a little more of an abstract approach (see photos).


As mentioned in a previous post, murals can teach collaboration, teamwork and show students how important it is to maintain the discipline to start and finish a project with dedication. This particular mural not only involved the Marin students and their caregivers, it helped to beautify the school and will continually remind everyone that individuality should be celebrated.


Critical Thinking and Sixth Graders

December 13, 2011

Young Audiences visual artist Augusto Bordelois is working with Chardon Middle School students for 14 days over the next couple of months to create a 9/11 memorial mural for the students’ school.

On the second visit of the residency, Augusto asked the students to brainstorm about the events of 9/11 and come up with ideas for the design.  The students suggested several symbols, such as a helmet to represent fire fighters or a red bandanna to represent heroism and bravery (a red bandanna was worn by well-known 9/11 hero Wells Crowther who gave his own life to save those of many other people).  The students then broke into groups to sketch images that would help tell the story.

A particular group of sixth grade boys worked on sketches together.  They decided they wanted the American flag in the mural to represent patriotism, and they also chose to depict it with flames all around it, thinking that the flames would make it a glorious, “cool” image – similar to flames on a car or motorcycle. Their vision was of an American flag flying high, surrounded by flames.

The groups presented their sketches to each other and had to try to persuade their peers to include them in the mural. There were interesting debates about what different symbols represented. When the boys presented their flag surrounded by flames, their peers immediately pointed out the flag didn’t look “glorious,” but rather on fire and in the process of being burned. Their interpretation was completely different than what the boys intended.

Through this exercise, the students got one of the main points of the residency – that artists have to be careful and think critically about what they include in their imagery because art can be interpreted in different ways. Augusto helped underscore the idea by pointing out that the students need to think of how people 30-40 years from now will perceive the design.  He challenged the students to question whether the images will make sense and be understood by future generations.

Thanks to the Lake Geauga Fund of The Cleveland Foundation for making this great residency possible. We can’t wait to see the finished product.

Garfield Elementary Mural

September 29, 2009
Garfield Elementary's new clay relief and glass mosaic mural.

Garfield Elementary's new clay relief and glass mosaic mural.

With the guidance of Young Audiences’ artist Augusto Bordelois, students from Newton D. Baker Elementary and Garfield Elementary helped create the beautiful clay relief and glass mosaic mural titled “Flying in the Garden of Knowledge.” The elaborate design and construction of the mural took several months with help of many students, and the finished work of art is a massive 30 feet in length.  The mural welcomes students and visitors at the entrance to the newly constructed Garfield Elementary School.