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Renowned artist works with junior high students


Artist Frank Giorgini worked with Shaker Junior High School students to create a ceramic mural of New York State.

May 21, 2009 - For the second year in a row, Shaker Junior High School students had the opportunity to work with one of the most renowned ceramic artists in the United States.


View a photo gallery of his work with the students.

Frank Giorgini is an artist, designer, teacher and author who lives in Upstate New York. He has designed ceramic tile murals for New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority and is considered the designer of the modern Udu drum, which is a traditional Nigerian drum made of clay with a hole in the side. In 1985, a set of Udu drums he designed became a permanent part of the collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Last year Shaker Junior High School students created their own Udu drums under his guidance.

Giorgini worked with students for several days this spring to design a ceramic mural of New York State. Each of the state's counties is represented as a separate clay tile in the mural, and each piece includes clay symbols that represent the counties. For example, Saratoga County's tile has horses on it, while the Albany County tile has the Shaker Bison logo, a star to represent the state capital and the Empire State Plaza skyline.

Students conducted research to determine what symbols best represented each county, and then they worked together to design, carve, and add layers to the tiles, prior to treating them with a natural patina finish.

The New York State mural will be unveiled at the junior high school's Studio Art Reception on Wednesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. The mural will be permanently installed in the school's front lobby.


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