Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Frame of Mind 7/05/06 A Heartbeat, A History

Slapping clay onto tables, pushing and prodding it into shape, the artists formed the
pieces of their mural, completing the parts before they could construct the whole.

Flipping the clay over and over, Hannah Karcher and Keyone Sellers, stretched it into wide rectangles and squares at
one table.

“You stretch it out so it’s not so thick,” Karcher said. “It uses more clay instead of taking a whole chunk of it and trying to fit it.”

At another table, three others formed the clay into flowers petals, birds and leaves. “This is kind of a bird,” Oak Park resident Emily Whitehead said, shaping the clay with her thumb and first finger, a plastic cup of water before her. “The petals are turning into birds. So they’re semi-birds.”

The art is for a mural on the railroad embankment wall alongside the Oak Park-River
Forest High School south athletic fields. The project, titled “Off the Wall,” is a six-week teen summer employment program with the Oak Park Area Arts Council and Chicago Public Art Group. One of the lead artists, Carolyn Elaine, said the mural’s theme is movement.

“We’ll bring life to the wall,” Elaine said of the mural. “It has a heartbeat, a history. It tells a story.”

-Chris LaFortune

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