Together

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one voice
a thousand colors
come together

***

Photo: Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic, c.b.w. 2008

A wall of words, color, and voices. A place where people from all over the world converge to leave their mark, have their say, and be part of something bigger than themselves. While this is just a wall of splattered paint, there is something immensely powerful and human about this place. It stands as a reminder that we all matter and deserve to be heard.

Words: haiku, c.b.w. 2019

Reconstructing the Lennon Wall . . . Again

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Over the last few months, I’ve written several times about the Lennon Wall I’ve created in my classroom. From the initial debacle of having to take it down to sharing student art, the response from readers has been overwhelming. Knowing that the message of the Lennon Wall has reached beyond the confines of my classroom is an incredible experience and I hope the message continues to spread.

In the months since I posted Reconstructing the Lennon Wall, the Listening to the Wall series and Clearly, I Will Not Be Silenced, the Lennon Wall has been pieced back together one section at a time. I made the decision not to re-create the same pattern that existed prior to the walls being painted.  Instead of returning to a moment of sadness, I decided to move forward with a fresh start. I used all the same pieces my students created in May 2012, but I let the random nature of fate decide their new positions on the wall.  The result is a beautiful new Lennon Wall that is full of vibrant optimism.

Center Section of Lennon Wall as of August 2012

On the first day of school, my students from the previous school year stopped by in droves to check out the newly constructed wall and to find their pieces. Meanwhile, the power of the Lennon Wall continues to grow as my new students are already buzzing about creating their own pieces for the wall. I am so excited to see them embrace the beauty of individual expression and I can’t wait to hear their voices.

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c.b.w. 2012

Listening to the Wall: Part 6

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Listening to the Wall is a series dedicated to showcasing pieces of student art that helped create an incarnate of the Lennon Wall  in my classroom.

For further information, please visit these links:

Reconstructing the Lennon Wall

Listening to the Wall: Part 1

Listening to the Wall: Part 2

Listening to the Wall: Part 3

Listening to the Wall: Part 4

Listening to the Wall: Part 5

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After a little hiatus, here are few more pieces of student-created artwork. They are full of beautiful and bold colors! I hope they brighten everyone’s day.

I love how this student played with the peace sign.  It’s both whimsical and deeply hopeful that we will all one day board that bus.

The eyes in this piece are so intense.  I often wonder where her inspiration came from to create such an insightful work of art.

I put this piece on the wall almost every year.  I love the energy that pops off the page and how she includes her love of music.

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c.b.w. 2012

Clearly, I Will Not Be Silenced

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Sometimes there are moments in life where things turn out better than you could have imagined. Throughout the summer, I’ve written rather extensively about a feature of my classroom known as the Lennon Wall.  Modeled after a graffiti-filled wall in Prague, the Lennon Wall stands as a monument to young voices, freedom of expression, and hope.  The actual Lennon Wall has faced its fair share of challenges, which makes it only fitting that my incarnate of the wall has also found itself at odds with the establishment, (see Reconstructing the Lennon Wall).

Much to my dismay, I was asked to dismantle my Lennon Wall in order to make way for new paint. Normally, I would be thrilled for a little interior upgrade, but not two days before the last day of school and an hour after I put up the last piece of student artwork.  I was upset to say the least.

In response, I along with my amazing co-workers engaged in a small act of defiance and optimism by grabbing some markers and signing my empty Lennon Wall.  The painters would be coming to apply a fresh coat of paint in a few weeks, so I decided to ingrain the wall with the spirit of the human voice.  Once that paint rolled over our messages, they would always be there even if invisible.

When I walked into my classroom last week, I dreaded the mess the painters probably made, but most of all I was not looking forward to seeing a very barren and white wall.  My classroom was indeed a mess with furniture upturned and as far as possible from where it belonged, while somehow paint globs ended up on my desk.

However, when I flicked on the lights I saw a miracle.  The painters could not silence me. Underneath the new white paint, was the outline of the mark I made on the wall. And I wasn’t the only one. Several of the messages left behind were also still visible.

When I signed the wall, I wrote, “I will not be silenced,” but I had no idea how powerful that statement was until I saw it peeking through the paint that tried to snuff it out. Just when I thought this wall couldn’t have any more meaning, it has become immensely more powerful.

Before:

My original signature on the wall.

After:

Painted over, but still visible. Look closely!

The Lennon Wall has since been restored in all its glory and my students’ artwork is once again speaking with a vibrant voice.  My still visible mark is now part of the collage, so I can tell my new students all about this incredible chapter of our Lennon Wall.

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c.b.w. 2012

Listening to the Wall: Part 5

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Listening to the Wall is a series dedicated to showcasing pieces of student art that helped create an incarnate of the Lennon Wall  in my classroom.

For further information, please visit these links:

Reconstructing the Lennon Wall

Listening to the Wall: Part 1

Listening to the Wall: Part 2

Listening to the Wall: Part 3

Listening to the Wall: Part 4

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I know teachers aren’t supposed to play favorites, but the student who created this piece wiggled her way into my heart.  She was often misunderstood, but I loved her energy and sense of humor.  She’s heading out into the real world this year I hope that feisty nature of hers will serve her well.

This is one of the more interesting portrayals of John Lennon the wall has ever seen.  I love the imagination that went into this piece and how cool is that paisley!

Sometimes the most simple images are the most powerful.  This student choose bold colors and created something that speaks volumes.

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c.b.w. 2012