Remember the old days when the foyer of an elementary school was institutional in tone, and the only “artwork” visible was of a former principal long-ago deceased? Well, you won’t find that at Evanston’s Kingsley School, where Monday they unveiled a high-tech photographic and video display that is representative of the Facebook generation.
A project of the Kingsley PTA, the group recruited artist-in-residence Cecil McDonald, Jr., to work with the school’s fifth-graders to produce a multimedia extravaganza that employs a 55-inch flat-paneled monitor, flanked by two 22-inch screens, that features students articulating what Kingsley means to them in their young lives.
McDonald, an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College in Chicago, whose work has been exhibited widely and is in several public and private collections, has been in residency at Kingsley since January 2012. Working with the teaching staff, he asked fifth graders to consider and reflect on their time at Kingsley and what they hope to bring to the future.
“During the art-making process,” he explained, “we were able to give voice to the hopes and fears of the students, bringing them closer to each other and the adults in charge of their care and education.”
Top: Parents gather around the lobby display at the unveiling Monday night. Above: Kingsley PTA President Candance Chow explains how the project came to be.
Kingsley PTA President Candance Chow credited the entire Kingsley community for their efforts in making the project possible.
“The Kingsley community worked hard to create these works,” she said, “and to raise funds to make improvements around the school. And now, we’re so proud to unveil our amazing lobby installation.”