Mural Workshop with Eric McRay
Eric McRay has once again teamed up with CVA as a teaching artist in the Public Art in Focus program. He recently joined the Salvation Army of Wake County for a painting workshop, in which a dozen or so children from ages 7-14 worked together to create a unique piece of art that will go on to become a permanent installation in their facility’s game room.
The Salvation Army is an international Christian-based organization whose mission is to “preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” In the Carolinas, the Salvation Army has been active since the late 1800’s. They offer various programs and ways of helping, probably most noticeably through their family stores, and affiliated programs like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Triangle.
The workshop took place over the course of two days, with the middle school-aged children coming in on the first day and the elementary school aged children attending the day after to paint a mural, which he wanted to do for its collaborative process. On day one Eric and the kids talked about the creative process, how to build a composition, and themes. The second day the younger children filled in the drawings with paint. “Overall, I think they were just excited to be there. I think the people at the Salvation Army made an effort to bring in people who had a real interest in learning about art.”
Eric has been a successful professional artist for decades, and has taught workshops to all kinds of people differing in age, socio-economic background, and ability. “Wherever they are in life, I am always trying to find ways to share art and enrich the lives of individuals,” he says.
One special thing about the workshop to Eric was a handful of African-American girls who he said he believed got a treat out of working with an African-American artist. He said he believes they “probably didn’t know many people like me who do what I do. I could tell there was a certain amount of glee and excitement over that element”.
The final mural, which consists of two panels measuring 32” x 48” each, contains themes of community, Christianity, education, activities, sports, multiculturalism and more. The piece will be coated with a final acrylic varnish and installed. Later, the Salvation Army will debut the piece to the community and the parents and participants of the workshop.
Images courtesy Eric McRay's Facebook.
To learn more about the Salvation Army, https://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/wakecounty
To learn more about the artist, http://www.mcraystudios.com/