Movement brings art back to Walker Gamble Elementary School
by Sharon Hall | June 3, 2017 5:06 am
Last Updated: June 1, 2017 at 5:09 pm
Art and music have blended well together for the past two years in Clarendon School District 3.
Students at East Clarendon Middle School and Walker Gamble Elementary School participated recently for the second year in the Play Me, I’m Yours art project.
The students’ effort was art that began with Luke Jerram, a British artist living in London. Jerram’s project – irregularly placing pianos in public places – ultimately spawned an international movement. His intent was to bring together people who would’ve otherwise never met.l
March marked the third year Jerram’s pianos were placed around the city of Florence. The pianos create a catalyst for conversations among people that would not have otherwise talked, said Walker-Gamble Elementary School art teacher Charlotte Driggers. The pianos have been found in disparate places like outside of laundromats and on plain street corners.
Driggers said that last year, students decorated a piano at East Clarendon Middle School, naming the project “The Lorax.” The students ultimately won the People’s Choice Award in the Play Me, I’m Yours event in 2016, winning $1,000 for their classroom.
“I was able to buy art supplies for my classroom,” said Driggers. “With some of the bought supplies, we made clay vases, animals and several bottle cap murals. Paint was bought to decorate ceiling tiles and we were able to purchase paint tools for several teachers.”
As a part of the movement, the pianos display the words, “Play Me, I’m Yours.” The words are designed to invite people to play the pianos, which in turn acts as an ice-breaker within groups of people and encourages conversations. When the street projects have finished, the pianos are donated to schools and community groups.
“The piano at East Clarendon Middle School was decorated by Corissa Driggers, Katie Gallerani and Caitlyn and Emily Weaver,” said Driggers. “They came up with the idea to make a gaming piano.”
Driggers said the students divided the piano into three sections.
“Our students drew ‘Space Invaders,’ ‘Donkey Kong’ and ‘Pac-Man’ on the piano,” said Driggers. “Then, they glued pearl beads onto the piano.”
The students walked away with more hardware this year for their efforts, winning the Jury Vote for Most Creative Piano.
Another check, this one for $1,250, came with the award.
“This will be used for school supplies for next year,” Driggers said. “The piano (itself) will be on display in the lobby of Turbeville Town Hall for one year.”
Driggers said her students in third through fifth grades at Walker-Gamble Elementary have also been busy this year.
“Walker-Gamble has been without art for a long time,” Driggers said. “The halls had been bare for a while, so I started drawing out designs on canvases, and the students painted them.”
“We have now started hanging the artwork in the school halls,” Driggers noted. “Within the last month, students have painted almost 200 canvases to be hung in the hallways of Walker Gamble. The canvases have brightened the school up tremendously.”
For more information, find the Play Me, I’m Yours International page on Facebook.