Clovis Unified School District art teachers gathered in Old Town Jan. 6 to create art murals using only biodegradable blue and green tape.
The murals were created on the display window of Barbara’s Fashions and in the inside of Old Town Café.
Betsy Pavich, a part-time visual arts teacher with CUSD, created the project. She designed it as a team building exercise for in-service days to encourage CUSD art teachers to learn from each other.
Pavich got the tape mural idea from a California Arts Education Association conference she attended last year. She said the project is an easy activity that benefits students and teachers while creating art for the community.
“Its a team building kind of a thing, as we’re doing this we’re talking about how their students can do it too,” Pavich said. “You can’t do anything wrong with this, if you don’t like it you can pull it down. It’s just tape, it’s something that everybody can do. We don’t even have scissors.”
Travis Herb, who teaches photography and videography at Clovis North High, said the activity gave him a chance to try out a new medium.
“For me it’s a completely different medium. I’m usually hitting the shutter release, but this is a nice, hands-on activity for someone who is a photography teacher. It’s fun to collaborate and see the amazing skill that teachers in CUSD bring,” Herb said.
William Herring, a photography teacher at Buchanan High, said the project was a good opportunity for him to catch up with other art teachers.
“It’s a really nice collaboration and team building exercise to work together and get to know each other more since we work at different sites. We know people at our own site really well, but we only have a couple meetings where we come together like this,” Herring said.
He hopes activities like the tape murals attract more attention to CUSD’s art programs and community, which he said sometimes goes unnoticed.
“CUSD has made a commitment to the arts and that shows in this amazing group of people that are here working today,” Herring said. “But one of the things that flies under the radar sometimes are the visual and performing arts.”
Promoting CUSD’s arts programs was one of the reasons why Julie Herring, owner of Barbara’s Fashions, wanted the mural outside of her store.
“When (Pavich) asked if her teachers could experiment on our windows, I said absolutely,” Herring said. “I would like to see more local artists do things like this and incorporate it into our town. We have so much talent in art and no one has a clue here in Old Town.”
Julie Herring said she hopes the tape murals will be the first of many art events that Old Town hosts. She plans on getting CUSD teachers to bring their students back to do more murals.
“I hope one day we’ll have a week where we have more local artists come and do something in each store,” she said. “I was even thinking about having students come and maybe do a contest.”