2018-2019 fourth grade artist-in-residence program

Each year, the Clinton PTA sponsors an artist-in-residence program for our fourth grade class. Over the years, we've had students learn the art of circus performance, perform in a vocal jazz chorus, explore printmaking while creating a collaborative mural depicting the future of Maplewood, and create a life-sized papier mache art installation depicting leaders they admire, from past and present, having a dinner party. Artists-in-residence spend two weeks at Clinton working with our fourth-grade classes each day, and we are always thrilled to see the growth in our students and the wonderful masterpieces they create.

2019 Clinton 4th Grade Artist-in-Residence, Kevin O'Connell!

Kevin O’Connell is a local artist, muralist, graphic designer and sign painter, who has worked alongside artists, LeRoy Neiman and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, among others. Part of his versatile body of work includes commissions to impeccably hand-paint type inscriptions on fine art museum and gallery walls for art exhibitions. He has been aptly named ‘The Human Typewriter.’ It was his absolute love of drawing and painting that spurred him initially into a career as a billboard sign artist, at a time when billboards were hand-painted and before large-scale printing and digital screens came into use. You may be familiar with his current South Orange mural underneath the South Orange train station bridge or the former car mural in the same location.


This year’s AIR program project sprung from Kevin’s passion piece, an illustrated alphabet book. His alphabet book features old-fashioned cars from A to Z.

For the AIR project, the 4th grade classes were asked to come up with a theme for their classroom’s collaborative alphabet book. Each student was randomly assigned a letter of the alphabet and was designated a page in the book. The AIR project will give them the opportunity to explore color, shape, composition, typefaces, page layout and design, drawing, and not the least, writing- looking for flow, rhythm and rhyme in the copy. The finished books will be copyrighted, published and added to all the SOMSD elementary school libraries as well as the Maplewood and South Orange public libraries. Each student will also receive their own copy of the book as a tangible piece of their 2-week artistic endeavor.

More information on Kevin O’ Connell, visit his website.



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