Collaborating With a Visiting Artist

by Lower and Middle School Art teacher Emily Sandagata

During the first two weeks in January, our Middle School students were thrilled to engage in a collaborative art experience with Massachusetts-based artist Frank Casazza, AKA Eyeformation.

Each student in grades 3-5 had the opportunity to collaborate with Frank (and each other) to complete a new “Positively Pike” mural, while also developing their own ideas and characters inspired by Frank’s imagery.

Frank, as he encouraged students to address him, is a multimedia artist, designer, and illustrator known for his vibrant, colorful characters. Through his designs, he hopes to create a positive, harmonious, and fun environment where the story is open to the viewer’s interpretation. His anthropomorphic characters often feature everyday objects such as boom boxes or clouds.

During Frank’s residency, students learned about the process of creating murals, including initial sketches, transferring a drawing onto a large surface, and painting in several stages. Frank also discussed his process for designing and producing products such as pillows and collectible figurines.

Here are two significant ways that this opportunity enhances our community:

  • Connecting to the arts in our local community – a real world experience that shows students what is possible for their own lives.
  • Creating a permanent work of art for our school that celebrates positivity and our motto “Non Sibi Solum” or “not for oneself alone.”

Middle Schoolers rose to the occasion, practicing and improving their technical skills while working together respectfully, patiently, and effectively. Frank was very impressed with our students!

Today, February 27th, Frank returned to Pike for a combined Lower and Middle School Assembly. He and a group of Middle School students shared their experiences with the Lower School before revealing and celebrating the finished mural.

The mural will also be showcased during our School-wide Art Show in May before it is permanently installed at the end of the school year.

View a time-lapse video of students working with Frank on the mural here.

The Pike School is an independent, coed, day school for Pre-K through ninth grade in Andover, Massachusetts. Visit pikeschool.org to learn more about Pike – and visit our blog for more thought leadership. To learn more about admission to The Pike School, visit our Admission page

3 Comments

on “Collaborating With a Visiting Artist
3 Comments on “Collaborating With a Visiting Artist
  1. Nicely done. Not only is this a great entry that highlights the amazing things that go on here but also, the project itself was an exciting addition to our program. Thank you for both.

  2. The mural looks so great! I am continually amazed at the artwork the students produce year-after-year under your guidance. Kudos to you Emily, the MS students, and our visiting artist!

  3. Emily, thank you for your hard work and for providing the students with such a wonderful experience. We will enjoy the mural for years to come.

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