Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I’m Not The Only One – Part I

To say that the last few years of my life as an elementary school bus driver have been interesting would be a grand understatement. The stories, songs and artworks that the students of The Peacebus have shared with me have filled me with the most positive of assurances that these ‘Future Leaders of the World’ will grow to respect our Earth and all of the lifeforces that abound here in ways that I can’t even begin to imagine.

About two years ago, I began to wonder what I would do with the hundreds and hundreds of peace art drawings that these students are continuously creating. An idea began to form, in the back of my mind, and since then I’ve spent much time developing this idea. My plan was to create a large mosiac mural, using all of these artworks.

Since I knew that this mural would be a very unique art creation, I thought that it would be a great plan to be able to share this with the community. I began to organize a small art tour throughout the libraries, here in London, Ontario.

The construction of this mural began five months ago. Wood panels were cut and primed, wood supports were fastened and eye-hooks were mounted so that the panels for this mural could be easily hung from a wall.

The inspiration for my art concept came from John Lennon’s song entitled “Imagine”. The lyrics from this song are very inspirational and found myself being drawn to one line in particular: “You may say ‘I’m a dreamer’, but I’m not the only one”.

I wanted to create an art mural that would show John (rest his soul) that indeed he was not the only one to have dreams about ‘Peace on Earth’ – the children of today (40 years after this song was written) also have thoughts and desires to realize humanities destiny to bring peace and balance back to our global civilization.

The mural concept focuses on just five words from this song – I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE. Since there are five words in this expression my mural is designed using five separate panels – one word is found in each of the five panels. The students’ artworks will be used to create these words in large capital letters.
Since all of these artworks were created to decorate The Peacebus, it seemed obvious to me that the background image – filling the rest of these mural panels – should be of The Peacebus.
I decided to paint the image of The Peacebus in many shades and tones of grey. I figured that this would make a nice background.
I really want the students’ artworks to stand out, so they’ve been printed using full colour which, when set upon the grey background, really sparkle with life.
Early on, I realized that I wanted to do a little more than simply showcase all of the individual artworks that the students have created. I decided to highlight many of the art adventures that we’ve had, as well.
Part of the first mural panel, tells the story about how Peacebus buttons were created with the generous donation by a Peacebus fan.

Another panel shares the story about how I shaved my head to raise money for the children of Kenya.

Another panel shares the Earthday adventures where students joined me at a local park area to help plant trees and learn about birds of prey.
And so on! In the end this mural will become more of a history of the students and my adventures over the last several years.
I’ve also been taking many photos of the mural’s creation – right from the beginning where I spent time priming the wood panels that are being used. The photos in this blog story have been grouped into sets of three – highlighting each of the stages. Many more photos have been taken and my plan is to create a fun animation film that I will be sharing in another several months, once it has been finished.
To conclude this story, I’m going to leave you will the promotional flyer that I’ve recently created to invite the community to the opening reception and the art tour that is to follow.
The opening reception is taking place at the Cherryhill Library on Saturday, June 16th, 2-4pm.  Please, consider yourselves ‘invited’ and I’ll hope to see you in a couple of weeks!

1 comment:

Ms A said...

Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey and your kids. One of your kids' parents shared the link and as a former bus driver I remember the incredible relationship I had with my amazing kids.

Bravo to all of you!