Fake 3-D or Not in The X-5 by Robert Indiana

On the right is a reproduction of Robert Indiana’s masterpiece “The X-5”.  (He is famous for the LOVE Statue in Philadelphia.)

On the left is the work of five Kroc Center Kids doing their interpretation of the 3-D X-5 piece of art work, each choosing to draw the number 5 or the star or obliterate the whole thing.

When I was an Art Aware visitor/substitute teacher at McGraw Elementary School in Camden, I had over 400 students do variations on the X-5 theme and displayed them in class murals throughout the school.

How colorful it was. How the murals showed the personalities of each class as a whole as well as each student. It wasn’t about teaching a particular art skill. I had the freedom, at that time, not to follow any core curriculum. I was able to just encourage student creativity.  Something that is rare in today’s classrooms.

In the past twenty years, Art Aware murals of thousands of Camden students’ art work have been in dozens of Camden elementary schools, been posted online to Artsonia Kids Art Museum and traveled around to:  Cooper University Hospital, Collingswood Manor Retirement Home, Rutgers University Student Center, Rutgers Stedman Gallery (for Geoffrey Canada visit),  the outside gates of Heart of Camden and The Camden Fireworks in Waterfront South, The Kroc Center and Ferry Avenue Library.

The exhibitions have provided a joyous look at our youth doing their own things to adult populations of parents, friends, strangers, many of whom have lost the desire and ability (without judgment) – to appreciate enthusiastic, youthful, marks on the page.

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