SERIES OF COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS
One of the first visible markers of your location while traveling is the city's water tower. This utilitarian necessity is often white or light blue with simple black letters stating the town's name. It tells travelers where they are but not the nature of the location. The two projects completed for Our Tower were intended to explore the identity, history, and potential of Moorhead, MN.
Working with fourth and fifth grade students through the gifted and talented program at Moorhead School District, students were tasked with created two pieces; a tree that shared the current demongraphics of the city, where people's ancestors are from and how long they have lived in Moorhead, and a collaged tile representation of the Red River that not only showed the shape of our main water supply but a timeline of the river's water levels from the past 100 years.
Through this research, students were asked their thoughts about Moorhead and its people. Additonally, they were asked about how an artist might convey these ideas as a visual on the water towers throughout the dity. Students came up with taglines for the city and passionate messages they wished conveyed directly to the mayor. They expressed thier hopes for the future and confusion over current decisions and policies.
While the project accomplished its objectives, the students raised many terrific questions. The unexpected result was recognizing the artistic talents of youth who usually are not singled out. The feedback from parents and appreciation for the opportunity for their children was an unexpected highlight of the project.