Students at David Brearley Middle/High school working on a portion of a mosiac mural.
Students pose by a mosaic mural tree in the courtyard - part of a larger expansion from the interior of the school to include mosaic mural components to the courtyard.
Students add objects that were donated for the sculpture by elders in the community. As part of the residency project, students interviewed their parents and grandparents, and created tiles that spoke about their family's cultures and memories.
David Brearley Middle/High School in Kenilworth initially applied for an AIE residency grant to help unite the middle and high schools, which share a campus, but were divided by one long blank wall between the middle school wing and the high school wing. A mosaic mural residency was undertaken - led by teaching artist Molly Gaston Johnson - and students from both the middle school and the high school became active participants in making changes - both physical and cultural - within the school.
The school used consecutive AIE Residencies to not only create beautiful murals throughout the school, but also to connect with the community. The school also added two art classes to their curriculum and a line item for arts programs to the school budget. The culture change started with the students, and expanded into the school administration and the community.
Viisual Arts Teacher Janice Marsili says it best- "The AIE Residency Grant Program really put the arts on the map in Kenilworth School District, and in particular at David Brearley Middle/High School!"
David Brearley Middle/High School is now an AIE Mentor School. Over their 8 years of residencies, multiple teaching artists have led the residencies at David Brearley, including Kit Sailer, Julie Deery, and Molly Gaston Johnson.