For the Sky is a magical, boundary disolving, outdoor, ecological, team-building experience for all ages with teachings that last a lifetime. The adventure culminates in a gigantic living painting colored and shaped by the living forms of participants. Many thousands of children and teachers world-wide have enjoyed this experience and their words bear witness to the wonder and lessons this unforgetable way of art has to offer.
Creating sky art is essentially, a math problem. From a "thumbnail creation," the figure chosen is transformed to GIANT SIZE (generally 80ft X 100ft or thereabouts) through an ancient technique called "enlarging from scale".
Mulch, recycled materials, leaves and thrift shop clothing
are often used to add detail and color to the image.
On Day 1, Daniel shares his 40-minute multi-media visual presentation in a school-wide assembly which covers: a) some basic climate science and our need to develop a new relationship with the sky (the Earth's atmosphere); b) the remarkable history and ancient roots of this art form; c) the invaluable Six Teachings; d) information about the logistics of the project. In elementary schools, the presentation ends with the learning of the Art For the Sky theme song, Wings to Fly, whole lyrics contain many of the teachings of Art For the Sky.
After the assembly, Daniel works with 4 selected children for 45 minutes in laying out the image grid on the field. After the design outline is laid out and the outline of the design has been sketched on the field, shifts of students in two groups of 8 come out and help spread the materials (soil, sand, mulch, leaves, recyclables, clothing, etc.) which are being used in the design. Six 5-gallon buckets, a wheel barrow, a couple shovels, and a leaf rake are the needed implements for this work. This all is a great exercise in collaboration and experiencing the age old truism that, "many hands make small work!"
Event Day is Day 2. In the morning, a selected small group helps Daniel tweak the details of the design. Daniel meets with the Sky Captains an 30 minutes before the event to go over their responsibility during the event. As the hour-long event begins, participants, wearing their colored shirts, come together class by class as "color dots" on the image charging it with life and beauty. Daniel photographs, films and directs the project with
a megaphone from a tall (always donated) crane, firetruck or man-lift. Two or three on the ground volunteer-photographer-Sky Captains take digital pictures for potential inclusion in the film of the project and meet with Daniel after the event so he can download them on his computer.
One-Minute-Of-Silence - Something unique and truly beautiful concludes each event. Having taken the offical "Art For the Sky Vow of One-Minute-Of-Silence" during the initial assembly, it is amazing how always, directed from above, the entire school honors this at the end of their time on the field. In silence, with heads bowed and hands upon the Earth, it is amazing to behold and experience . . . a never to be forgotten life-changing moment!
On Day 3 of the residency, the musical video Daniel has put together of the event is shared during a morning assembly with a special
presentation that includes a school-wide sing-along of Wings To Fly or other song chosen for the event. Media loves this work and a photo story often lands on the front pages of the local newspaper or on TV (see some headlines), so be sure to contact them ahead of time!
Sample schedule from which to make plans.
"This was the best field trip I've ever been on!"
--Mimi Hoffman, Principal, Manatee Elementary, Port St. Lucie, Florida
The school receives a DVD of the final assembly presentation film (see samples in the video gallery) to reproduce and use as they wish. Many schools sell these back to the parents at $10 each and usually recover much of the residency fee. Kids love mementos of the project. Click to see how this works!