Full STEAM Ahead - 2020
Location: Parkside Community Academy, Chicago IL
110 sq ft Broken Tile, Stained Glass and Mirror Mosaic
Zaria V. Gilmore
Parkside Community Academy stands as one of six distinguished Chicago Public Schools that have received district approval to pioneer a curriculum steeped in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). The 2020-2021 academic year marked an "incubation year" for Parkside—a time dedicated to vital building improvements and comprehensive professional development, all meticulously orchestrated in preparation for the imminent implementation of the dynamic STEAM curriculum.
The infusion of art into this multifaceted educational landscape ushers in a realm of boundless possibilities, fostering active student engagement and igniting a profound motivation to learn. My artistic vision harmoniously aligns with Principal Tori Hughes' dynamic vision for her school. This mosaic installation stands as an unequivocal testament to the pivotal role of art within the STEAM framework. It highlights the 'A' in STEAM, reflecting our commitment to infuse art seamlessly into the curriculum and the school's aesthetic. This 110 square feet mosaic installation now extends a warm welcome to students, educators, parents, and the broader community, beckoning them into the school through its main entrance.
The creation of this mosaic was a collaborative endeavor, with a dedicated crew of four assistants joining me in this artistic journey. Our collaborative creative process serves as a poignant exemplar of the incredible possibilities that emerge when individuals are granted the freedom to explore their passions, master tools and materials—both tangible and virtual—and embark on the creation of innovative projects.
This composition carries a twofold purpose: first, to kindle the fires of inspiration within the next generation of artists, makers, designers, and innovators, and second, to utterly transform the school environment into a vibrant tapestry that celebrates the luminescence of Black excellence. My unwavering dedication to nurturing the artistic potential within African American communities reflects a profound commitment to honoring our ancestral legacy by reclaiming our narrative and crafting imagery that mirrors the sheer beauty and brilliance of our culture.