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Fourth Grade Artists Soar in New Street-Art Inspired Wings

Fourth Grade Artists Soar in New Street-Art Inspired Wings

Inspired by Denver contemporary street artist, Kelsey Montague, our fourth graders created an interactive set of wings. The vibrant wings invite passerbyes to step within them and ponder the question, “What lifts you?”

I sat down with Primary School Art Teacher, Allison Johnson, to hear more about this collaborative and inspired installation.

  • Where did the idea for the wings come from?

When I was researching this idea I became inspired by local artist Kelsey Montague. She lives in Denver and has painted many murals of wings in the Denver area and in cities around the world. I love the idea of asking our fourth-grade artists in particular what lifts them? What makes them soar? What inspires them?

  • What are some of the objectives for the project?

I want all of my students to learn something about color, one of the seven elements of art. It is so important in our work. In this particular lesson, students learned about tint, which is adding white to color. They also learned about shade, which is adding black to color. 

They learned about value, which is showing shadows and highlights in their work in order to create a sense of the depth of space. For this lesson, they chose a color to work with (monochrome) and created a  value scale that smoothly gradates from the darkest shade to the lightest tint. Students painted their monochrome color value scale with tempera paints. 

  • How did working with scale contribute to this project?

I was inspired by a lesson that another art teacher did with their students where they made value scales, turned their value scales into feathers, and used the feathers to create wings. That is exactly what we did for this project!

  • Talk about the creative process.

  1. Students painted monochrome value scales onto heavy paper using tempera paints. Each student painted two separate value scales. 

  2. When the paint dried, they used white Prismacolor pencils to draw a large outline of a feather onto their value scale, utilizing the entire space that they painted. They filled the inside of the feather drawing with imaginative patterns using the white color pencil. 

  3. Next, they carefully cut their feathers out with scissors. 

  4. Finally, the feathers were assembled to create the large scale angel wings on black paper. 


  • How has the new art piece been received by other students and faculty?

They love it. It is always very special to create and view collaborative works of art. It invites all of us to be a part of it and to create a final image by including ourselves. This is an experience that can be fun and have meaning in ways that are unique to the individuals who are participating with it.  

We’d love for you to see our art spaces in action. Join us for a campus tour. Complete a quick inquiry here to sign up for the time that works best for you.





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