Invisible Man Bodysnatchers
During the week before Winter Break in December, 2011, Project ‘79 seniors reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man collaborated with teaching-artist-in-residence Mr Roy Chambers to stage their own invisibility installations inspired by Chinese artist Liu Bolin. Choosing locations around the campus of Westfield (NJ) High School, they sought to raise questions about what and whom we don’t see during our daily routines—and more specifically, who might feel invisible around “The Holidays.” Check out a wonderful write-up about the project posted by the Westfield Patch!
A Tree Re-Grows in Westfield
With guidance from Project ‘79 Teaching Artist-in-Residence Roy Chambers, students brought in approximately 400 recycled cans that they rinsed, cut and wrapped by hand to create the tree at Westfield High School. The base of the tree was actually created from a solar-powered fountain designed by Sean O’Connor as his senior project in 2010. Students added metal rebar, which was also wrapped in the sculptured aluminum. Read the full article on Westfield Patch.
A Quadrillion Grains of Sand
Students in the Project 79 program put together the special exhibit, with grains of sand, to showcase a mole. The mole is a scientific equation used by chemists to determine 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power. The mole came about to help measure an atom or molecule which is too small to be visible to the naked eye, according to WHS chemistry teacher Chris Tafelski. Tafelski and fellow chemists world wide celebrate Mole Day annually on Oct. 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m.
From Drum Circle to Demo - Collaborative Songwriting
In 2011, songwriter Shayfer James worked with Project students to write two songs. The songs were based on unique grooves migrated toward by the students in drum circles. The grooves were then edited into loops. The students worked together to decide on a theme, write lyrics, and compose music. Shayfer compiled the finished songs into a demo in his home studio. These songs are the outcome including the original drum circle loops!
The class of 2013 began working with Shayfer James in spring 2012 to develop a song that even more deeply involves the students in the songwriting process, with students singing, co-producing and rapping on the track. This is a half instrumental demo and a look at the development process. It is also the sketch students are working from to complete the lyrics!