Coltech (Collage Technology)

Title:  Coltech (Collage Technology)

Site:  Waters Elementary School
4540 N. Campbell, Chicago

Artist: Juan Angel Chavez


Community Participants: Jose Javier, Andy Espino, Anna Monterroso, Semir Hrpo, Cain de Jesus, Angie Jimenez, Christine Farfan, Michelle Camacho, Christopher Rodriguez, David Miller, Brandon Peterson, Laura Lara, Maricarmen Escareno, Gladys Gualpa, Llecenia Borjas, Jessica Taveras, Mariana Mata, and Britten Piedrasanta

Sponsors: Chicago Public Art Group and Waters Elementary School

Year:  1998

Scale: 300 square feet

Materials: Acrylic paint on wood panels

Information:  Students at Waters Elementary School played an integral role in the design and painting of this mural. The composition reflects the use of computers as a tool and technology as an aid to the creation of a mural. The first stage of the project was a three-step design process starting with the construction of collages using magazines given to or brought by the students. Students selected and cut images, then created robot-self-portraits using the selected images. The second stage involved scanning the collages into a computer to manipulate, separate, and transform them into line drawings for transparency use.

Without having a conventional design, the final stage (painting the mural) left much room for the students’ creativity. Students were given compositional exercises in color, design, and painting prior to painting the mural. This foundation allowed them to make decisions that expanded their own ideas and abilities to create. The improvisational method of this mural project successfully gave students the opportunity to express and explore without restrictions.