An art installation at East Ridge High School involved 16 students, one day of work and thousands of Post-Its.
The team collaborated with 3M and the design firm of Zeus Jones to create four mosaic murals on school windows.
The "Post-it® War Pixel Art Installation" was inspired by the Post-It wars in New York City earlier this year. Employees in glass towers on opposite sides of the street began sending messages to each other by forming words on the windows using Post-Its. The one-upmanship quickly escalated as groups began to create elaborate pop culture images, such as a portrait of the Simpsons, or internet memes.
The East Ridge students created the murals Aug. 15. Their work can be seen on the second floor, where "Go Team!" is spelled out in Post-Its. In the cafeteria, an image of the Raptor school mascot glowers from a window. The third, "Under the Sea," features fish and other creatures "swimming" across the glass by the entrance to the Activities Center. Choosing that particular design was not a coincidence: their fall musical is "The Little Mermaid."
Lauren Nicol, 17, of Woodbury was recruited to the Post-It team by assistant principal Allison Johnson. She, in turn, brought her younger sister Caitlin, 14, into the fold.
While the first three murals were created using pre-designed templates-think paint by numbers-the students designed the largest mural themselves. They created a "Welcome Back" banner that spans one entire side of the school's second-floor library window. Above that message are the words United and Proud, and two raptor wings. The banner can be read from the parking lot. Johnson said they wanted to finish the project in time to welcome students to their two back to school orientations.
Caitlin's job title was "maker." She was part of the peel and post brigade who hung the paper. A A second group on the opposite end. They met in the middle.
"We had to tell one side to slow down," Caitlin said.
Her sister worked as a "visionary." It was Lauren's job to stand back and focus on the big picture, literally, to make sure her classmates stayed inside of the lines, so to speak.
"There was some trial and error," she said. "We did have to pull a few Post-Its off. The wing was kind of lopsided."
One of the things they learned was the proper way to peel a Post-It, assistant principal Johnson said. Post-Its should be peeled from the side in order to lay flat when stuck up on the glass. Pull it straight up, and the paper curls.
"Being educators, we really love Post-Its," she said.
They used Super Sticky Notes, a more adhesive version of the 3M Post-It. By doing so, they hope to minimize drop-offs. Johnson said the goal is to keep the murals intact through the fall.