Why Project Counter the Orange? We are invested in the well being of all our students and want students to feel a tangible connection to our school. By allowing students to paint the columns in our lunch area, we are:

● Giving students an opportunity to be creative at school

● Allowing students to express themselves and improving their mental health through art

● Exposing students to a wealth of art traditions from around the world to inspire their work

● Creating ownership of the school campus. Students paint during school hours thus increasing participation while creating a sense of joy and pride in the permanent mark that students are making

For those who are not familiar with MVMS campus: our school has orange walls..a frequent source of puzzlement for our community…and we are cheekily engaging our middle schoolers by asking them to “Counter the Orange!”

Theme of Project Counter the Orange

Students will learn about art traditions from around the world and will draw from these traditions to inspire their art. The list of traditions includes, but is not limited to: Quilts from North America, Islamic geometric mosaics, Kente cloth patterns from West Africa, Origami paper designs from Japan, Rangolis and kolams from India, Otomi embroidery from Mexico, Scandinavian folk art and any other appropriate art tradition that inspires our students. Students will work from a fixed palette of colors in order to keep design cohesion in the space.

Please see this link for inspiration art from around the world.  This is the color palette that we will be using for design cohesion.

We have 25 columns in our lunch area that we would like to decorate with student murals. Students will be painting the bottom 40 inches of the columns (leaving a 3 inch space from the ground). Students will work in groups of up to three to submit their proposed art for a space that is 76 inches wide by 40 inches tall. Each column will be labeled with the name of its creators and the art tradition which inspires it. We will also share (perhaps through QR codes) more information about each art tradition so that viewers can learn more.

We hope to create a museum of art traditions from around the world and welcome students from other schools (in our district and outside) to visit us and learn from our installation.

Important Dates and Logistics

Step One: Students attend one of the information sessions

March 10th during both lunches OR March 15th 8:00 -9:15 AM, both in Little Theatre

Step Two: submit application

Students student applications by March 22nd and their 19 x 10 art samples due at the front office

Step Three: Let’s Paint!

Students can choose to paint during school on April 5th, 19th, 26th or a Saturday April 22 or 29. Teachers will know students are participating in the art project and will let them leave class. Students should work with teacher on missing classwork.

Adult Support

This is a huge undertaking and we will need quite a bit of parent and adult help to pull off this project successfully!  There will be many shifts available for you to help. Please sign up here to help! 

  • Cleaning columns, marking them off with blue tape and applying two layers of primer (and maybe even base coat of paint as requested by students)
  • Laying protection around the pillars on the day prior to paint days
  • Distributing supplies, providing help as needed on paint days