AVA – Show with Big Thought and Medrano Middle School

ARO woked with Francisco Petro Medrano Middle School through Big Thought’s “Thriving Minds” after school program in an effort to create a piece for an elite Dallas show which raises money for non profits, Big Thought being the chosen one for this specific year.

Titled, “Horizons” this collaborative piece was created with the help and guidance of Carlyn Ray, Carlyn Ray Designs, Emily Teng Yan, participating artists and the Medrano “Thriving Minds” program.

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Carlyn Ray Designs and her team worked with Big Thought’s after-school program and lead the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at the Francisco Medrano Middle School in making a large site specific project.

Through the making of this project, the participating students used a multidisciplinary, collaborative, and hands-on approach allowing lessons in the classroom to come alive. The art piece “Horizons” was shown and displayed at One Arts Plaza during an event called Artist vs. Architect and auctioned off to raise money for the non-profit Big Thought.

Ashley Johnson, a teacher and a leader in the Dallas STEAM movement, worked with ARO and directly with the students. She and Carlyn came up with lesson plans, exercises, labs, and activities which directly correspond to the specific TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) per grade level within the DISD standardized testing.

The piece started as Carlyn was nominated as an artist for a juried show called Artist vs. Architect. She was randomly paired up with Emily Teng. Upon meeting, Carlyn mentioned her work with students and Emily loved the idea to include the creative process with the selected featured non-profit Big Thought.

Emily Teng and Carlyn Ray had their first meeting at Carlyn Ray Designs. Carlyn briefed Emily on the material of glass, the process, how it is made, and the endless possibilities. The second meeting was in the lobby of One Arts Plaza so they could design through understanding how it will be displayed. The window seemed the perfect choice. Their design ideas emerged, and they both leaned heavily to the plate idea with the ribbons creating the backdrop.

Carlyn and her team created a small mock up of the pieces, and they studied color. The next meeting was at Omniplan to create the digital drawing on Emily’s computer.

From this drawing, the idea of the piece came into full view, and the exact number of parts became more apparent. Emily continued working on the digital ‘sketch up’ and Carlyn and her team started making the glass.

Through four different field trips and various activities during the after-school program at Medrano, the students worked with passionate professionals and role models, were introduced to the trades, and experienced different working environments.