Where Art, Innovation and Service Intersect
In this recurring blog series, we look at the Culture of Innovation at Eastern Christian School. A major Institutional distinctive that sets EC apart as a global leader in Christian Education is that this is a school community and leadership team that takes calculated risks on new, leading ideas in order to more effectively fulfill the mission and Kingdom Impact of the school.
If you haven’t seen the Discover Learn Live video that was recently produced by the Eastern Christian High School Art Department, you owe it to yourself to give it a look. Or watch it for the 20th time. Go ahead – we can wait. It’s well worth the 4:30 of your time.
Recently, the EC web staff sat down with Mr. Jesse Wright, ECHS Art teacher, to discuss this story behind the creation of this project. We asked about the Project, Purpose, and Process behind this amazing video. We were impressed with the video project and the EC Art Department that produced it. Here is our interview:
This is an amazing video! Tell us about this Project.
Give thanks! We have some amazingly gifted students. Touch The World came to Eastern Christian’s Art Department seeking a “shake-em-up / wake-em-up” live art performance for their banquet this year. The group of student artists wanted to kick things up a notch. These students were fearless in their approach: “Let’s throw in a video too! Let’s throw in actors who will play off the video screens while the live painting happens!” Since our school’s mission trips are coordinated through Touch The World, the students felt connected to and inspired by this ministry.
What is the Purpose of this video?
To test the limits of how much coffee Dunkin Donuts can produce! I must have consumed my weight in coffee trying to keep up with all of the dynamics that the students brought to this.
In all seriousness, Touch The World’s tagline is “Discover – Learn – Live.” The goal was to visually illustrate this message. In the video, we see this diverse group of gifted people come together to tell one person’s journey of overcoming personal and external issues to experience a life of missions and service in a very creative way. This is art as ministry. Getting on a plane to another country isn’t the only way to get involved in missions. Projects such as these create another way to serve, reflecting the creative aspect of our Creator. In a way, our mission trip location was Eastern Christian High School in North Haledon, New Jersey! Now that it’s online, the students are, in a digital way, serving globally.
Anytime we see a video like this, we always want to know “How’d they do that?” Talk about your Process and how EC art students created the end product that we enjoyed in the video.
Truth be told, we had NO IDEA what to do for the live painting. That would arrive along the way. So there was a good deal of prayer up front. We made a list of all things that we thought would be involved in this person’s journey. More than having answers, we had a bunch of compelling questions that we wanted to be honest about. We used those as landing points. As long as we hit those landing points, we knew we could just have fun and embrace ideas on the fly. The idea of wiping out a painting with another is to not get hung up on the past and continue to look with excitement towards what lies ahead. The philosophy half comes from Paul speaking in Philippians 3:12-14. The art half comes from a collective called the Barnstormers. Seeing their videos inspired us to set up a camera and make our own. The stop motion bits, the photo bits, the sculpture bits… all of that comes from involving as many students as possible. The photos bring a level of authenticity. Aaaaand let’s be real here, having impossible deadlines helps you roll with things as they come haha!
Specifically, at the 1:53 point in the video, we were blown away at the girl “jumping into” the painting! What sort of magic did you conjure up for this shot?!
Ah, the “jumping into” painting. That was a student, Brianne, diving over and over into the boards, God bless her, until we got a take that works. You pause the footage and project the image of her onto the board EXACTLY where she would be. Paint that on the board. Throw paint at the board, while trying not to splash everyone in the room. Mix the painted/splash footage with the live footage and VOILA, rabbit pulled from hat!
My advice to teachers/parents/guardians, when you ask your students, “hey how are WE going to do this?” When they have a voice and role in the decision making process, sky’s the limit in terms of results.
Like what you saw here?
Other “Culture of Innovation” Blog Posts: