Marvelous Surrealist Café

Title:  Marvelous Surrealist Café

Site:  Medgar Evers Elementary School
9811 S. Lowe

Artists:  Olivia Gude


Community Participants: 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from Evers School

Sponsors: Illinois Arts Council Artist-In-Residency Program

Year:  2002

Scale:  Cafeteria walls

Materials:  Acrylic paint on masonry

Information:  The faculty and students of Evers Elementary School agreed that fostering a creative environment was an important part of fostering high academic achievements. The artist and school decided to transform the cafeteria into the Marvelous Surrealist Café, a space filled with surprising imagery and quirky poetry.

The artist began a series of Surrealist faculty workshops in the fall. The goal was to stimulate the teachers to be aware of creating spaces for free creative play in all aspects of the curriculum. In the spring all the students participated in classic Surrealist art games, creating a host of surprising and amusing characters. These drawings were developed by the core mural students to become the people in the Marvelous Surrealist Café.

A character based on a collage by a second grader welcomes the students into the cafeteria with a quote from the great Surrealist, Andre Breton, “ The imaginary is that which tends to become real.”

For more information on the creation of the Marvelous Surrealist café, see the article in the Working with Youth section, "Psycho-aestheic Geography in Art Education."