by Thad Falkner, Head of School
If you have had the pleasure of seeing Wilson’s new mural by our visiting artist Cbabi Bayoc, you may very well have focused on the product (that is, the finished piece itself). And why wouldn’t you- it’s truly engaging! Energy and joy radiate from the depiction of key aspects of our unique Wilson community. Certainly, if the “product” needed to stand on its own, it could. And yet, there’s something beautiful and important going on beyond what you can see: the process that led to its creation. At Wilson, we are intentional about process-focused learning and this, combined with our deliberately small-sized community, leads to distinctive opportunities for our students.
In this case, students were involved at every stage of the process, from choosing the concepts to helping with the painting. Not only did this give them a first-hand experience with art as a process in itself, it also gave them lots of practice in collaboration with very different people: their peers, their teachers, and a gifted professional artist.
-Brainstorming- Even creativity needs to be practiced, and it often flourishes when we work with others. How does one’s own thinking grow and change through brainstorming with others? How do we handle our disappointment when our ideas aren’t chosen or used?
-Collaboration- Collaboration with peers is essential in building 21st century skills, even if it’s as simple as waiting your turn to paint. What about collaboration with adults? With adults who are very skilled at something you are not? How does that work and what do you learn?
These lessons and many more came together in this experience for our students. It’s a perfect picture (if you’ll pardon the pun) of Wilson: Love of art, but not just the product- learning from (and maybe even learning to love) the process. Seeing every work of art differently from now on, because you understand that much better how it might have come to be. These student outcomes are ones that we hope will be as lasting as our beautiful new mural.
Wilson in the News