Sunday, May 22, 2016

PowerupJAX Grant Funds Legacy Project: Self Portrait Tiles-Class of 2016

5th Grade Students from the Class of 2016 created a tile portrait in their likeness.  Each tile was hand painted with ceramic glaze then fired. The tiles were installed  by district staff to serve as a permanent display, intended to last for many years to come. Students can return someday to CRES to see their tile portrait and reflect on their years as a student at Central Riverside Elementary.

The project was unveiled at a full day celebration event, including all staff and students as well as alumni, past teachers, principals and community members.  A new school flag was dedicated, guest speakers reflected on our school's history and a time capsule was created including memorabilia from CRES.

Local Newspaper includes the Self Portrait Tile Project in their story about our annual school event. The article credits the Jacksonville Public Education Fund with making the project possible.

Central Riverside Elementary, is located in the historic Riverside section of Jacksonville.  This project was the artistic focus of our 100th birthday celebration.   I directed a project that commemorated this important milestone in our schools history and reflects the commitment and spirit of CRES’s Class of 2016. 
During weekly art classes, Seventy-five 5th grade students created a hand glazed tile, in their own likeness, and was permanently installed in our school’s hallways as a tribute to a century of learning. This was such a positive experience for those students who created this legacy, leaving their mark so one day they can return to celebrate their wonderful years at CRES. 
This project impacted all 400 CRES students as it was introduced to the remainder of our student body as their signature 5th grade project so they, too, can leave their mark on CRES when they become 5th graders.  My goal is that students will learn how public art impacts every viewer and serves as a monument, celebrating an institution that has educated thousands of students in 100 years. 
The self-portrait tile project was unveiled at our school’s 100th Birthday Celebration on May 19, 2016, as well as the The CRES Art Walk, a school-wide art exhibit and concert attracting CRES families, friends and community members. 
This hands-on project impacted the members of the graduating Class of 2016, but will be shared with every student who walks the halls of Central Riverside Elementary School for years to come. Because the tiles are a permanent installation, our students are able to return to the school to reminisce about their years as students at Central Riverside Elementary School. This project will be their legacy.
Successes Experienced:
This project was a huge success with lots of positive feedback from families and community members.
Here are comments from some of the 5th graders who participated in this project:

“I'm so proud of Central Riverside and when I come back to our school one day I’ll enjoy seeing my fellow peers from my old class. I will cry when come back to our school and when I do I will run to show my children the tiles.  It will be cool to see and how they react.”

“I look forward to looking at my tile I made in the fifth grade at CRES in 2016.  When I grow up I want to be able to see how great I made my tile look when I was young. Kids in fifth grade made self-portrait tiles and put it up on the wall for the children to see when they are grown. Hopefully the fifth-graders can show their kids their tile that their parents made and maybe decide to take their own children to our school.”

“Once I am grown I can come back to Central Riverside and see the tile that I made. When I come back I can see my tile from the fifth grade class of 2016. Seeing my face, knowing that it will be there forever. If I have kids someday and they come to Central Riverside they will see me up there in the class of 2016 I will be very proud.”

“I enjoyed making the Central Riverside Elementary school fifth-grade tiles so that way when I grow older and have my own children they can see me when I was in the fifth grade. These tiles have so many colors.  Every time I pass them I seem to remember when I made them. It was so much fun making these tiles and making memories.”