Second-graders at the General John A. Logan Attendance Center in Murphysboro created their own quilt square maps with Oak Street Art metalsmith Sue Gindlesparger on February 26.
Gindlesparger designed the project to complement students' other lessons for Black History Month. After reading the book Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson (illustrated by James Ransome), students created their own maps in the style of quilt squares.
Using paper of various patterns, textures, and colors, students used scissors to cut out shapes representing key aspects of a place special to them. They learned how to layer and overlap the different pieces to create a unique collage resembling the kind of quilt square Sweet Clara made out of fabric scraps. Clara stitched the squares together as a guide for her and other enslaved people to escape slavery along the Underground Railroad.
Gindlesparger was assisted in the classrooms by Oak Street Art members Ann Fischer (photography) and Luca Cruzat (printmaking).
Please see photos below of Gindlesparger introducing the lesson, of creative students at work, and of a completed all-classroom "quilt." The final image is made up of the squares made by each of the students in teacher Tabitha Harris' second-grade class. Thank you, Mrs. Harris!