We are in the beginning stages of a special project in 5th grade art!  It’s a cross between science and art… I got the idea from this artist. His name is Seth Apter and he started this is 2009 with artists all over the world.  The idea is to see what nature does to materials.  He invited artists to create “bundles” of artwork, materials, stuff and hang them outside for a few months to see what disintegration might happen to them. Hence Disintegration Collaboration was born.  Over 120 artists participated in the original project.  After the designated time was up, they took the bundles down and created art with the changed materials.  There were before and after photos taken to show the differences.  I thought this might be a great project to coincide with the 5th grade science curriculum!  I wrote a grant through McDonald’s and got $500 to purchase lots of materials to use.  Most of the materials I got through garage sales but I did order chipboard(for the base), brads, wire, string, paper doilies, watercolors, bleeding tissue paper, and other misc. items.  I got an old set of encyclopedias CHEAP at a garage sale to rip pages from, donated magazines, sheet music at another garage sale and from the music teacher,  cardboard coffee sleeves, an awl and hammer for punching holes, and wooden beads & fabric scraps at a garage sale too!  I spent most of the grant on supplies and then also had some to pay myself to develop a slideshow, get a digital camera to record the process and a memory card too.

Students painting their base boards

Peace board

Be Humble

Happy Accident

Stormy Skies

SO, the kids painted the chipboard with acrylic paint to protect it a bit (this will become the covers of our mini book that they will make with the materials once they come down), chose papers from magazines, books, and sheet music, painted some of the papers, filled out a prediction sheet and wrote a wish down as well.

They added misc. materials to the bundles.  I punched a hole in the middle with the awl and hammer and put a brad though it.  They wrapped the bundles in wire, string, ribbon, and twine.  Once completed, we took “before” photos of each one and took them outside to hang.


tied together

The heart doilies were a hit!

Here you can see the prediction/wish sheet we filled out and attached

Some look like packages all tied up waiting to gift Mother Nature!

This one cracks me up!

I used twist ties to attach them to a wire fence next door at our district’s transportation center for Mother Nature to do her thing.  It affords some protection from other people tampering with them, but allows the rain, wind, snow, and sun to affect them. We will take them down on or around May 1st.

Here are some hanging pics:

Helping each other hang work!

Once down, we will take photos of the materials and then create a mini album using paper bags, a stick and twine, and include the before photos, after photo, and predictions/ observations about what happened in the process.  They will use the papers and collage elements to add artistic flair to the books.  This is a great way for kids to explore materials and what happens to them!

This is a wonderful project for this grade level and for Earth Day!

I’ll be posting more about this when we take them down and make the books.


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