LEARN

IDEAS & ART
URBAN WALL PAINTING
SECRETS & WISHING
INTRODUCING THE WISH WALL
REVIEWING THE PROJECT

MAKE...
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INTRODUCING THE WISH WALL — Lesson #4, #5, & #6

LOOKING

We have had lots of different discussions by now. So far, we've considered how ideas are important in art and how Conceptual Art is all about ideas (Lesson #1). We've learned about murals, graffiti, and "cover-ups" (Lesson #2); we thought about what these types of wall painting have in common and what is different about them. Lastly, we've thought about secrets and wishing (Lesson #3).


"One and Three Chairs" by Joseph Kosuth
Let's look back to the very first example of Conceptual Art from Lesson #1. This artwork, made by Joseph Kosuth and titled "One and Three Chairs," is about an idea. It is about the idea of a Chair and how one idea can be shown in many different ways. Here the artist has shown us three different ways to picture a chair. We can picture a chair in our minds when we read a dictionary definition of the word chair. We can picture a chair by looking at a real chair that you can actually sit down on, and we can picture a chair by looking at a photograph of a chair. By presenting three good ways to picture a chair, this artwork teaches us that there are many different ways to show one idea.
 

Just like there are many ways to show one idea, there are also many ways to make a mural. This mural, titled "Further the Dream," started with an idea and was made with the permission of the wall's owner. It pictures Martin Luther King Jr. and as well as people who influenced his life, like Mahatma Gandhi. The idea of this mural is to show how important Martin Luther King Jr. is and to honor him.


This is also a mural, made in Cambridge, Massachusetts with the permission of the wall's owner and originating with an idea. The idea in this mural is to react to the tragedies of September 11, 2001.

Here is yet another example of a mural. It was also made with the permission of the wall's owner and also started with an idea. The idea in this mural is to present interesting patterns, colors, and shapes.

These are three different ways to picture a wall mural and examples of what you need to make a wall mural: an idea and permission to use the wall.
 

I recently had the idea that I wanted to cover a wall with wishes in order to show how important I think our wishes are, in order to honor wishes. Yet writing on a wall without permission is graffiti and can upset the people who own the wall. How can I make this idea without upsetting anyone?

In Lesson #1, we learned from Joseph Kosuth's "One and Three Chairs" that there are many ways to picture a chair and that there are many ways to picture an idea. There are also many ways to picture a mural. One kind of mural could be a mural made from our wishes, as there are just two things you need to make a wall mural: permission to use the wall and an idea. I decided that my idea could be made into a mural, since I had an idea and was able to get permission from the owner of a wall.

Excited that I had solved my problem of how to make my idea without upsetting anyone, I realized that I had yet another problem. I wanted the wishes written on the wall to be protected. I decided the wishes could be protected by being kept secret. They could be painted over just like "cover-ups." "Cover-ups" are painted over graffiti to hide the graffiti. We can do the same thing. We can write a wish on the wall with permanent marker, then hide it with a layer of paint like "cover-ups" hiding graffiti.

I have solved all my problems so far. I decided that my idea would take the form of a mural and the wishes could be protected by secrecy, but I realized that I still had another problem. The most important part of this Wish Wall Mural is the idea. The most important part is that it is a wall covered in wishes and that these wishes have been painted-over to be protected. But I wondered: if the wishes are hidden, how will people walking by learn about the idea? I wanted to make this mural different from other murals; I didn't want to put anything on top of the wishes that would distract from the most important part of this Wish Wall: the idea. If people couldn't see the idea when walking by the wall, how I going to let them know about it?


"Erased de Kooning Drawing"
by Robert Rauschenberg
I was able to solve my problem by thinking about Robert Rauschenberg's artwork, "Erased de Kooning Drawing." Just like the Wish Wall Mural, this artwork is Conceptual Art because the most important thing about it is the idea. How did Rauschenberg let us know what his idea was without drawing pictures that might distract us from the idea? He gave us a title to read: "Erased de Kooning Drawing." This title lets us know just enough about how the artwork was made to understand the idea. Also, Rauschenberg put the title right on the artwork to let us know how important it is.

We will do the same thing. Right on the wall we are going to write the title for the mural and a brief description that will let people know just enough about how the artwork was made to understand the idea. "Wish Wall Mural, a mural made from personal wishes that have been covered in paint." This title lets the people walking by know how the artwork was made but it doesn't distract from the idea of the Wish Wall.

By writing a title, I was able to solve my final problem. Even though the wishes will be hidden and only blocks of colored paint will decorate the wall, people walking by will still be able to understand the idea behind the mural, the most important part. Just like the title for Rauschenberg's "Erased de Kooning Drawing," the title for the Wish Wall Mural will give just enough information about how the artwork was made for people to understand the idea.

 

INTERACTING & RESPONDING

So now we need to think about the most important part of the mural. The idea. The WISHES! Remember that this is what the Wish Wall Mural will be all about. This is what will make the Wish Wall Mural interesting and important, and what will make it art. These wishes should be special and important. They should be considered seriously and chosen carefully. They could be on this wall for a very long time.

Six fourth-graders were willing to share their lists of possible wishes for the Wish Wall Mural.
The asterisks (*) indicate the wish chosen for the Wish Wall Mural.

 
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Posible wishes for the wish wall mural
1. I wish that I was rich.
*2. I wish that everyon close to me would never die.
3. I wish that I could fly.
4. I wish that I could hid my feelings.
5. I wish that I could read every book by Tamora Pierce and sudinly there were more.
6. I wish I was a famouse artest.
7. I wish that I could change size and shape.
8. I wish that I could go to Hawii.
—Taplin
 



Posible Wishes for the Wish Wall Mural
1. I wish that I could fly
2. I wish I hade a billion trilen ballors.
*3. I wish my famley stade healfty
4. I wish one of my horse hade a baby.
5. I wish I hade Super Powrs.
6. I wish I did not have to go to school.
—Maya
 




Possible wishes for the wish wall Mural
*1. I wish I could be a body builder and a blacksmith.
2. I wish my mom had more time to spend with me and my brother.
3. I wish I could be a machine builder.
4. I wish I was a hunter.
5. I wish I could be a blacksmith.
6. I wish I could be a scientist.
7. I wish I could fly.
8. I wish I was a awsome skate border.
9. I wish I could go to Maine.
—Jaylen
 


Possible wishes for the wish wall
1. I wish I could own a horse
2. I wish my I would grow-up strong.
*3. I wish my first communion goes well.
4. I wish my baseball games go well.
5. I wish I could get animal.
6. I wish I could be a teacher at Havard when I grow up
7. I wish I could get more stuffted animals.
—Katie
 




Possible Wishes For The Wish Wall
1. I wish I could be in the WNBA when I grow-up.
2. I wish I could shapeshift
3. I wish that I can go to Carleton college
4. I wish that my sister could be with me
5. I wish that when I get a big house my can come live with me
6. I wish that me and my mommy will always be together
7. I wish that my daddy will come and visit me soon
8. I wish that I could make a 3 pointer shots
9. I wish that my mommy with always be healthy
10. I wish that my mommy will have a good birthday
11. I wish that I could go to Florida
12. I wish that my uncle Tony will have a good birthday
13. I wish that Boo-Boo's leg will heal soon
14. I wish that Paul will come home soon
15. I wish that my uncle will be captain of the fire station before he retires
*16. I wish me and my family will always be together
—Autumn
 


Possible Wishes For The Wish Wall Mural
*1. I wish for my mom to be home more.
2. I wish to get an apple desktop.
3. I wish my mom would let me where my cross.
4. I wish for my softball game not to get called off.
5. I wish for Fred to get rid of his allergys.
6. I wish for Theo to continue spanish lessons in pre-K.
—Kalila
 


TEACHING

Download a PDF of the two lesson plans used to teach these concepts. Should you use these plans as reference for teaching purposes, send me an email. I would really love to know.
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