It sounds like a simple task, to have students create a visual history of a town, but it is a very demanding art project.
In Tualatin Oregon, a record number of participants contributed to the Student Visual Chronicle, creating a wealth of recollections of Tualatin’s history.
In Jeannine Miller’s classroom, music plays through speakers while students work quietly. When they do speak, it is to ask a question about the creation they are working on. Most of the sounds in the room are of the folk music behind the sound of brush strokes on canvas and pencils on paper.
These are the students in Miller’s Drawing II classes at Tualatin High School. They are working on projects for the Student Visual Chronicle, crafting works of art which show images from Tulatin. They also provide a written explanation why they chose that particular location. The city has a Visual Arts Committee which purchases certain pieces for display around town, and it is a compilation of working history.
“These are hard paintings. I can’t emphasize how hard they are. There’s a lot of detail, color changes, composition issues,” said Miller. “A lot of the kids have never worked with colored pencil in a ‘painting way,’ and they dove into these options without a lot of background.”