Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Peace-Art Competition On The Peacebus

In a few previous blogs I’ve mentioned that my bus routes have recently changed. I’m now driving a different group of students to a different elementary school.

I can remember how excited all the students were when I first pulled up to their bus stops. They were all surprised to see that they had a new bus driver and once they entered The Peacebus their eyes grew large and filled with wonder as they saw all the peace-art that is decorating the inside roof of the bus.

Once we arrived at the school, I took a moment to introduce myself as “Mr. Jim”, go over some of the bus rules (concerning eating and drinking) and I asked if they liked the way I decorated my bus. They all smiled and said that they thought my bus was cool! I told them that in a few weeks I would be giving them a chance to add their peace-art to the bus, as well.

I didn’t want to rush right into any new art projects until the students and I had a while to get to know each other a little bit, first.

After a short period of time, one of the students asked when they could start creating artwork for the bus. I told them that I was in the process of organizing a fun art competition and that it would begin in the next week. Well, it seems that the students just couldn’t wait. The frosted winter windows became their canvases each morning. By the time I had reached the school almost all the windows were covered in peace symbols, heart-peace symbols, stars and happy faces. These students were showing me that they were ready to create some real art!!!!

It didn’t take much effort to get this first competition in motion. One day I simply asked if they were ready to create some peace-art for the bus. They all hooted and hollered that they were ready. I told them that I wanted them to follow just two simple rules. 1) The drawing had to be created on either a white sheet of paper or a coloured one – no lined paper (that they use to take notes in school) and 2) They had to fill the entire page – I didn’t want them to simply draw a peace symbol on a piece of paper and say that it was art. I wanted them to create an environment for their peace symbols. “You can draw a garden full of peace flowers. You can draw a landscape with a peace symbol for the sun. You can draw a huge peace symbol on the Earth and fill the rest of the page with stars and planets. Use your imagination and be as creative as you can be. Use lots of different colours, bright colours, peaceful colours and fill in the entire sheet of paper.”

The very next day, I received the first entry for this competition and the artwork has been flowing in at a steady pace, ever since. The easiest way for me to get even more artwork from the students was to tell them that they could enter this contest as many times as they wanted to. “The more you enter, the greater your chances are for winning!”

Okay! Okay! I’m a big, mean and ugly fibber!!!! My plan is, of course, to give each student who participates a prize… but they don’t know that – that’s why it’ll be a surprise. In the mean time, I’m getting a ton of artwork to share with the world. Matt is in grade 6 and he is an art machine… he’s already created seven different artworks for this competition!

When this peace-art was handed in to me, I couldn’t help but laugh and smile. “So, Camilo, what’s with the flying chicken-man?” Camilo told me that this chicken-man is a real person who lives in Mexico. He’s sort of a superhero cuz he helps many people. I told him that the chicken-man would be very honoured to know that he was in Camilo’s drawing. Camilo smiled at the complement!

Viveka took a different approach for creating her artwork. Instead of drawing a picture, she created a collage using photos that she had taken last summer. I asked her why she likes photography and she told me that she loves taking pictures of beautiful flowers. I asked her if she knew the names of the flowers that she had taken photos of. She knew about two of them and told me what she knew and then I told her the names of the other two flowers and told her why I thought they were beautiful. I told her that her layout and composition was done very well and then she confessed that her dad had helped to show her how to do it. I told her that it was great that she had asked her dad to help her. “ I’m very proud of you for learning so much about Nature and being able to share your ideas by creating artwork on your computer and I’m proud of you for being able to ask someone to help you.”

I’ve had so much artwork handed in that it will take me at least another blog to share it all with you. So, tune in for my next story to see more wonderful peace-arts by the students who ride The Peacebus and by that time I should have ‘the prize’ ready to share with you, as well.


1 comment:

Sandra said...

Congratulations to the kids on the fabulous job on the art. I enjoyed reading the blog about the kids doing the art.