Our main focus for art will be on the mural, particularly those of Diego Rivera. Diego was a 20th century painter who took an interest in painting murals in public places. He particularly enjoyed Mexican themes and people for his subject. He was interested in making sure that everybody, including the poor, saw his paintings and this is why he chose to paint on public walls.
Diego was born in 1886 in the town of Guanajuato. As a young child, he enjoyed spending much time with animals, particularly his pet goat. Soon, he took an interest in drawing. He enjoyed drawing inventions that he made up or mechanical parts from his toys that he took apart. He even developed the habit of drawing on the walls of his house so his father covered one room with canvas so he could have a place to draw.
At 10 years old, he became a student at the San Carlos art academy. There he learned many techniques and studied other European artists. Eventually, he felt that his art was exclusive to only the well educated and he felt it was important for all classes of people to see his work. At this time, he took an interest in painting murals in public places. Most of his work can be seen in Mexico and some in the United States.
I think a great way to introduce the works of Diego Rivera to students is through a book on his life taken from the series
Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest Artists
written and illustrated by Mike Venezia. This book gives information similar to that above and is written for elementary students.
After exploring this book, a class mural will be created. We will first decide on a subject to paint then draw pictures of what it might look like. Students will work in small groups and everyone will contribute. The mural will be done on the wall in the class or on a piece of canvas that can be stuck to the wall. This project will be completed by the time the class restaurant is ready to open.