William R. Peck School Student Mural

Friday 20 August 2010

F or the spring semester, 2010, I was a consultant for an after-school program in which middle school students collaborated on a permanent ceramic tile mural. They worked in groups and as individuals, creating tiles in relief and glazing the finished bisque tiles. When completed, the mural was installed on the exterior entrance wall of the William R. Peck K-8 School in Holyoke, MA.

I joined with Darcy Dumont, the art teacher, working with the students as well as helping her learn the process of fabricating the tiles and installing the mural, so that she could implement future clay tile projects on her own.

The mural portrays the full service nature of the school. There are images of sports, parent participation, club activities, health care, academic classes and cultural experiences.

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Judith Inglese grew up in New York City. From an early age she loved working with her hands and wanted to be an artist. With the encouragement of her parents, she explored various media: wood and welded sculpture, glass and metal screens and off loom tapestries. While still a teenager, she worked as a freelance toy designer for her father Frank Caplan, an early childhood educator and toy maker. Later, she designed covers for children's records.

But her love of clay, with which she played as a young child, led her to ceramic murals. Tile making was a way of working incrementally, while fabricating larger artworks that could be incorporated into public spaces and buildings.

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