Kristen Helberg - Paintings, Murals, and Vinegar Grained Boxes

Kristin Helberg

Ndebele Mural Project at Harlem Park School

Ndebele Village Mural created by Harlem Park Students

I spent the month of February at Harlem Park Elementary and Middle school in Baltimore, Maryland working with the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students creating a mural that depicts a village in South Africa where the men build the houses and the women paint them.

For ten years I have joined the wonderful Harlem Park art teacher Morag Bradford, working with her older students on a mural and creating projects for the younger grades that correspond to the world culture that we are studying.  The first grade created collar necklaces of colored paper using Ndebele designs and we staged a fashion show to South African music so the students could display their creations.

Collar Necklaces using Ndebele Designs

We created paper models of the Ndebele houses, working with the fourth grade students.

Paper model of an Ndebele house by 4th grade student

After reading Maya Angelou's book, My Painted House and my Favorite Chicken, which tells the story of an Ndebele village, the third grade created their own favorite chickens from colorful construction paper.

My Favorite Chicken portrait by 3rd grade student

The projecct was funded jointly by Harlem Park School and the Maryland State Arts Council as a project with their artist in residence program.