Portfolio category: Arts

MHS Murals

Julia Talbot, a 2018 graduate of Medford High, painted four large-scale murals cross the school. The murals in classrooms incorporate the curriculum into the image to bring the material to life. The largest of the four murals can be found in English classroom C309, featuring about 73 influential authors and characters from across the literary canon; another WIP stars Beowulf with an electric guitar.

The Coloring Book

The efforts of Jenny Lu and Antonia Collins in CCSR for the 2017-2018 school year were dedicated to the creation and publication of a book called The Coloring Book. The book features poems written by Jenny and short stories based on interviews conducted by Antonia. The theme of The Coloring Book is racial justice, and in it readers can find the struggles, successes, and inspirational perseverance of people of color in and around the Medford community. Those featured in the book represent a variety of ages, races, ethnicities, orientations, beliefs, and experiences, but have in common a factor of themselves that makes aspects of their journeys similar yet very unique. Through The Coloring Book, the authors hope to provide comfort and hope, a sense of community and confidence, for people of color.

Planets on the Playground

Jessica Dossantos, Jennifer Dossantos, and Lauren Brown focused their efforts for their 2017-2018 CCSR project at the Brooks Elementary School, creating a social space in the courtyard. The theme of the social space is the solar system. The three, along with other helpers, painted all the planets, as well as the sun and the moon, around the playground area. This project is beneficial to the students as well as to the teachers because the students will be more interactive and the teachers will have a way to encourage their students to learn about our world in a more creative way.

Brooks Elementary School Inspirational Quotes

Jennifer, Jessica, and Sarah decided to do something that would give back to their community at their roots. All three attended the Brooks Elementary School for six years and that is where their friendship began. They wanted to help beautify the school and make it a place where students would feel welcome and inspired. They painted trees on poster boards and placed an inspirational quote in the middle of the tree. On the sides of the tree, they intend to have students from the school paint their fingerprints on it, leaving their mark so that every time they pass by the poster, they can read the quote and remember that they were a part of it.

Andrews Middle School Mural

For their project, Jenny Lu and Antonia Collins painted a mural at the Andrews Middle School. With the rainbow flag, it displays their message, “love is love and that unity wins”. It is a visual representation that gives hope for those who walk by it. A different design of the same mural was painted at Medford High School last year and they hope to expand this franchise to all public schools in Medford. Especially in times like these, it is important that our community stands by each other as family. Although they are just a few stripes and colors, they depict how as a city, we are supportive of any kind of love

Brooks Elementary Theater

Last year, CCSR members Matt Carroll and Jack Egan were upset by the lack of artistic opportunities in the Medford public elementary schools. In particular, they thought that there was a lack of theatrical opportunities. With the help of the Brooks school PTO and art teacher Ms. Susan Keefe, they performed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They did two musical numbers, The Candy Man and Pure Imagination. This year, their show is the Wizard of Oz. They sang Over the Rainbow, Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, and Over the Yellow Brick Road.

Andrews-McGlynn Middle School Marching Band

Duncan, Chris, and Michael’s marching band’s project focuses on recruiting Medford middle school students for a small scale marching band. As members of the Medford High School Marching Band, the group witnesses the decline of young students’ interest in music, first hand. They believe that if they can spark the interests of young students, they can spark a flaming passion and curiosity for the ever expanding world of music.

Easter Baskets for the Elderly

This year, the CCSR members at the Curtis Tufts wanted to find a way to assist the elderly within the Medford community. Students made decorative Easter Egg baskets with the help of their art teacher, filled them with plastic eggs containing chocolates, candies, and little notes. The baskets were then delivered to the local elderly center in Medford Square.

Transgender Visibility Play

This year, Hannah Rogers wrote a play that focused on transgender visibility. "My goal for this project is to spread awareness about transgender people in an entertaining way. After having a conversation with my friend, I realized that the transgender community is often not discussed and misunderstood." Hannah's primary focus was to work with transgender people to tell a story that will eliminate part of that confusion. Auditions were held in the winter and the play was put on in April.

Painting the Playground

Last year, seniors Jennifer Dossantos, Jessica Dossantos, Lauren Brown, and junior Isabella DeSouza set out to paint the Brooks Elementary School playground using the theme of the solar system. Because of the great success and the fantastic feedback they received, they decided to expand upon their project. This year, the group took their painting project to the Columbus School with the intention to make the playground into a more interactive space where the students could both learn and play together.

Environmental Art of Medford

Seniors Shubhecchha Dhaurali and Niamh Keane were intrigued by artist Fells Day Artist who makes beautiful art pieces and sculptures out of trash people throw away on an everyday basis. To spread awareness of Medford’s carbon footprint and how we are fighting it, they made a Public Service Announcement which included an interview with the artist, their art, and also highlighted other environmental initiatives of Medford.

Medford Murals: Who is Medford?

This year, Gabrielle Yamamoto and Tenzin Dhesel sought out to capture just who Medford was, is, and will be through a series of murals that express Medford’s history, culture, and most importantly, the people. "Our mission statement is to bring Medford into a new age through public beautification."

The Problem Solving Wheel

This year, Amine Nazih, Lucy Grehan, and Nicolas DaSilva set out to create a program at the McGlynn Elementary School that helped promote proper ways to approach a problem. The three painted a problem solving wheel at the Elementary School which serves as a reference for the students on on how to solve everyday problems.

Community Concerts

This year, musically talented students Isabelle and Arielle Bezerra held community concerts in Medford. "When we were looking for a way to give back to our community, we thought about what we were truly passionate about." Following their passion of music, they performed for the elderly at the local nursing homes and hospitals in Medford Square. "We want to share the gift of live music and fun with them, but also just spend time and interact with the people and bring them joy as well."

Songs for Social Justice

This year, Medford Calling students collaborated with the CCSR to host an event focused on music that addresses social issues. Students and teachers from both groups met weekly to research songs from the present and past that address social issues and compile them into playlists. Students partook in songwriting sessions focused on social justice issues with a focus on incorporating other creations inspired by artists or songs that focus on social justice issues. The students also learned to play songs by other artists that focus on social issues and performed them for the student body. "We hope to shine light on key issues that are highlighted in pop culture and bring them to the student population."

Mustang Way Banner

This group's goal was to have students' artwork portrayed on the school banner so that they are always encouraged to fulfill the Mustang Way. They ended up using a W.I.N. block to have the students and some staff decorate an index card that shows what the Mustang Way means to them. They added a Mustang head and a quote saying, “Mustang Way...every day!” Mrs. Fee, the art teacher, helped them finalize the banner. This project was made possible by grants from the Cummings Foundation and the Krystle Campbell Betterment Project.

Northeast Animal Shelter Mural Design

In what we hope will be an ongoing partnership between McGlynn CCSR and Northeast Animal Shelter, the Volunteer Coordinator at the shelter enlisted the help of these five artistic 2nd-graders to design a new mural to hang up in the shelter. The shelter walls are covered with art by a variety of local artists, and we were honored to be asked to contribute our own work of art. The students came up with their own designs featuring dogs and cats and centered around the theme of community. Over the weeks, they sketched, transferred, and finally painted their beautiful scene of a neighborhood for cats and dogs. They hope that their mural will be a cheerful addition to the walls of the shelter!

Art for Others

This group of first graders was happy to take a paintbrush in hand and create a way in order to provide happiness for someone else. The goal of this group was to paint on canvases provided by the nonprofit group Art for Hospice. They first decided on where their art would be donated. Most students quickly chose to honor veterans at the Soldier’s Home in Chelsea, MA. A few students made it known that their preference was to have their artwork given to ill residents at a local hospice center. The students worked hard over many weeks designing, sketching and finally painting on the 11x14 canvases, with the help of PTG volunteer moms Renee Hanley and Vanessa Amero. Additionally, students created cards to accompany their artwork telling about themselves and the inspiration for their work.

Happiness in Giving

The students in this group wanted to make someone’s day brighter by providing painted canvases for residents at either a hospice center or the Soldier’s Home for veterans in Chelsea, MA. They worked hard designing, sketching, and finally painting canvases provided by the nonprofit group Art for Hospice. The completed 11x14 canvases had uplifting, happy pictures that would be provided to brighten up rooms for residents. This group also provided cards to accompany their canvases and explain their inspiration for the art.

Canary

Our world is in a crisis. Climate change is coming whether you like it or not and it must be faced head on. Canary is a brand made to help protect the environment. We made a stylish and comfortable clothing line with an environmental outlook. Canary included reusable products such as tote bags, QR-code stickers, etc, to further our environmental focus and promote sustainability in Medford. All profits went to several charities focused on fighting/lobbying for climate justice and disaster relief caused by global warming. We believe the fight for our futures is a long journey that will far overshadow Canary, but hope to spread the message, urgency, and power of the movement.

Butterfly Project

For the CCSR project fair this year, our group has decided to take it upon ourselves to make Medford High more appealing to the eye. Our courtyard has undergone various attempts to try to beautify it, but none have had an everlasting effect. We created a butterfly garden in the outside courtyard of our school. To do so, we purchased and planted the specific flowers that attract butterflies in the hopes of us having our own little garden. Attracting these butterflies will not only help the flowers already in the yard with their pollination, but it will also bring color into our very bland school. By maintaining our plot of land clean and healthy, we hope to make Medford High’s courtyard something completely different.

Painting The Playgrounds

Our group decided to expand the same concepts of an interactive playground painting that educated the students while also providing an easy way to learn at the Roberts Elementary School in Medford. We met with Mr. Johnson to exchange ideas for what to paint on their playground. After a fun discussion with Mr. Johnson, we decided that the school and their students would benefit most from a playground game centered around sports, and interaction. We were told by Mr. Johnson that the little kids love playing games and that although they are fenced to a certain area we should paint some games that are suitable for the younger kids because the older kids prefer football or soccer. We decided that having multiple games that are smaller would be more beneficial to the little kids. For the older kids we decided to turn one of the two foursquare spaces into a checkerboard game where the kids can play. In a way to get the students more involved, the student council voted on which designs should be painted on the playgrounds which truly demonstrates the essence of community in CCSR.

Artwork for Senior Center

These CCSR members wanted to create a beautiful piece of artwork to donate to a senior community. They cut paper and drew hearts using bright colors in order to form this collage. The students also got other CCSR members involved by encouraging everyone to add their own colorful heart. They then organized the hearts and found a thoughtful quote to add to the corner of the artwork. The quote says, “No beauty shines brighter than that of a great heart!” This framed artwork was donated to the Courtyard Nursing Home in Medford, MA. The CCSR members delivered the artwork themselves.

Song of the CCSR

Song of the CCSR is a project to create an official song for the CCSR. The lyrics reference important social issues and highlight specific CCSR projects. The song not only functions as a moral booster for the CCSR and its members, but spreads the message of the CCSR to people who may never hear about it. Our goal was to make a fun, interesting advertisement to help inspire students to make their community a better place. The song was written, played, and performed by CCSR members. Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way! Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way!

Lobby Beautification

The first thing students, teachers, and visitors see when they walk into the building is the lobby. While there are some points of interest, the lobby was missing something; it needed an eye catching piece that would draw people in. We found that the four plain white pillars in the lobby were a perfect place for some images. We also did not want something to just beautify the space, we wanted it to have meaning. Each pillar now has a theme, some being human rights, environmental appreciation, and mental health. Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way! Our CCSR project was focused on the inclusion of students in Medford High School with disabilities. Inclusion deals with joining students with disabilities and simply talking and getting to know them better from both an academic and personal viewpoint. During these class periods, we went to their classroom, came up with activity plans, and used those activity plans to get to know our new friends better. We gained an understanding of those around us, and by doing this project, we hope people will recognize that these students are just as nice, funny, and smart as your friends. We hope everyone will be able to greet these students on a first name basis, and not have fear of what they might say in return, because even a simple “hello” can go a long way!

Activate the Athletics

Our project called “Activate the Athletics” redesigned the Athletic Hallway portion from it’s entrance all the way to the other opening passageway further down in the hall. We left space for future years to take on the project and continue its mission. The hall was modified with new team spirit, team photos, two Mustang logos, a mustang acronym and a brand new trophy case area. This project is a proposal to bring motivation into our team locker rooms, and athletic center for the athletes participating within each season’s sports. It shall encourage people to get active and inspire them to participate as an athlete. During the school year of 2019-2020 our group collaborated to make sure each sport is represented and included in the Athletic Hallway. We hosted an assembly that resembles the student athlete body as a whole on December 9th. The goal of Activating the Athletics is to uplift the spirit in the locker rooms for our underpressure student athletes that go through the practice process everyday and sometimes intense game days. Lets work as a team and show everyone what it truly means to be a member of Stang Gang!

Community Concert

Community Concert was a CCSR project that focused on using music to improve the community. We went to local centers that are often neglected by the community, such as facilities for the elderly and sick, to play some music and brighten someone's day. By bringing music into forgotten places, we helped make some of Medford's citizens feel special and valued. We hope that the music will bring some joy to those who hear it, and bring something special to the community.

Humans of Medford

Humans of Medford is a photography project run by senior Frances Flood but created by MHS graduate Molly Stroud in 2016. The page’s goal is to bring together the community by recognizing teachers, business owners, students, and residents by posting a photo of them on Instagram with a short excerpt from each person. It was originally inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York where he had his own photography project of photographing strangers on the streets of NY. It shares the stories and lives from Medford in each post on Instagram. Give it a follow! @humansofmedford

Decorate and Feel Great

This group decorated the school. It has shown in studies that a more pleasant environment can make people happier, calmer, and more productive. It has shown that warm colors induce happiness, and blues help make people calmer. They wanted to make the school a more cheerful environment to help people learn. They put up encouraging and inspirational messages around the school. They arranged a day for students to gather after school to decorate. They also organized a day called Smile Day and on Smile Day, students were encouraged to smile more. During WIN block, teachers handed out decorations for the class to use to decorate the classroom. These decorations were in warm and blue tones to help the class environment. Each classroom was decorated to raise the school morale. We helped make school a happier place!

Crayon Recycling

This team of artistic 2nd-graders got the idea for this project from an activity that Kahlan had done at a birthday party. He explained that instead of throwing away old crayons, they can be turned into new crayons in different shapes, by melting them down in silicon molds! First, the group designed a flyer asking teachers at the school to donate their old crayons to the project. They received hundreds! The next step was to peel the wrappers off of the donated crayons. Not having an oven at their disposal, they instead used borrowed toaster ovens to melt the old crayons down into new shapes. They used molds in a variety of shapes, yielding new crayons shaped like Legos, robots, puzzle pieces, and more! They gifted the new and improved crayons back to the teachers and parents who had originally donated old crayons to them. Their project helped reduce waste by repurposing crayons that would have otherwise been thrown away, and also created something beautiful!

Fine-ally Fine-Tuning the Fine Arts Building

The fine arts building has been quite shabby for some time now, and it is our mission to breathe new life into it. From the old smell and the grimy and dingy interiors, there is a lot to be desired in a place of art and creativity. We figured that due to how the arts typically gets viewed by the school administration, we had to step in and do something ourselves to make the environment welcoming and, at the very least, suitable for students. We replaced the rubber lining between the walls and floors, repainted to add some life as well as hopefully introduce some cool new art, touched up the messy door paint, and dealt with the more defective music stands so that playing on them is more bearable. We fundraised and gratefully accepted donations for the paint and supplies. We got as much help and input that we can get from students and staff members like Ms. Van Aken, Mr. Szykniej and many of the fine art teachers to create an environment that is both beautiful and enjoyable. By sprouting new life into it, perhaps we can kindle more people’s interest in the arts and more people will be able to recognize its value. Either way, we ourselves just want to show our passion, respect, and gratitude for the arts and its teachers through this project.

Classroom Bookmarks

These 2nd-graders love to read, and love arts and crafts! So, they decided to use their arts and crafts skills to enhance the reading experience for their classmates. After noticing that many students didn’t have bookmarks to keep their place when reading, these 2nd-graders decided to make some! They decorated colored cardstock with stickers, ribbons, markers, and glitter glue. They also made containers for their bookmarks using old cans. They made enough to place a can of bookmarks in all four 2nd grade classrooms, and also all five 5th grade classrooms!

Bringing Music to Elementary After-School

Music has always been a huge part of my life. Because of my love and excitement around music, I am interested in bringing to the attention of young kids that same joy. Through fun sing-along songs and activities, I got kids interested and interacting with music. Once a week, I took my music class to a different elementary after-school program, including the Brooks, Columbus, McGlynn, and Roberts. Wielding my guitar, ukulele, and a handful of egg-shakers performed for the students! The songs were mostly aimed at some of the younger grades, talking about colors and numbers. These activities lasted less than 30 minutes, and fit into the programs’ schedules as best as possible.

Beautification of Medford High Chorus

The beautification of the Medford High School chorus is a student led project to gain an appreciation for the chorus. As members and presidents of the chorus, Lily and Cadyn wanted to beautify the room to gain new members and create a place where people would want to come sing, meet new friends, and enjoy spending time with people who had similar interests as them. They participated in this year's Activity Fair to bring new members into the chorus and held after school rehearsals on Wednesdays to bring all members together. They also spent time cleaning the chorus room to create a space where people enjoy going after school each week. Their hopes for this project are to improve the MHS chorus all together, by starting with small actions and eventually building on them.

Together We Are One

The “Together we are equal” project created a beautiful mural that symbolizes diversity in our school. The students Destiny, Leticia, Nicole, and Sherby have designed and worked on this project together as a team. The mural is on the wall at the West Courtyard of the school. There, people can see what Medford is all about and how diverse and united we are.

Problem Solving Wheel

When we were coming up with ideas for community service projects, we noticed that students at the elementary school level faced a big dilemma: they couldn’t resolve conflict. We wanted to fix this problem by painting a problem solving wheel at the McGlynn Elementary School playground. This wheel contains options and strategies that students could use to resolve their conflicts. We think that this will be a valuable resource to the children of the McGlynn Elementary School.