Students from Escola Massana fill the gardens and courtyards of Eixample with art

07/06/2014 10:00 h

Joan Angel Frigola Berbel

The initiative created by the District of Eixample, the Municipal Education Institute and Escola Massana will take works of art to various courtyards and open school playgrounds.

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A group of students from Escola Massana are in a courtyard in the city centre putting the finishing touches on a ceramic mural inspired by a frieze designed by Xavier Nogués for the facade of a cooperative wine cellar in Pinell de Brai. The mural will soon be installed in the Cèsar Martinell gardens, a courtyard named after the architect responsible for many of the modernist co-operative wine cellars around Catalonia. This project is part of an initiative by the Eixample District, the Municipal Education Institute and Escola Massana, whose goal is to bring art to locals via the many interior courtyards and open school grounds in the Eixample district.

Gerard Ardanuy, the City Councillor responsible for Education and Universities and the Eixample District explains that the idea is to “bring artistic intervention into the public space, taking young people’s talent to the streets and, take advantage of spaces that have been unused up until now, such as the interior courtyards. The goal is also to bring art into contact with the education sector via collaboration with students and teachers of Primary School and Applied Arts at Escola Massana”.

One of the pieces on show is in the Clotilde Cerdà gardens, an interior courtyard located between Carrer Sardenya and Marina, near to Carrer del Consell de Cent. It’s a mosaic of glass ceramic measuring 106 m2. The motif chosen was portraits. The students’ work, which bears in mind concepts such as interculturalism, age and gender, was turned into the pixelised drawings and engraved on the wall with small ceramic pieces.

Work is continuing to finish the piece that will adorn the Ermessenda de Carcassona Gardens and will consist of a sgraffito. It will measure 66 m2 and the images chosen are of a still-life motif featuring trees and leaves, characteristic of modernist sgraffiti.

The headmistress of the Escola Massana, Gemma Amat, explains that the project "is a wonderful chance to take real projects from inside the classroom and contribute to the Eixample’s cultural heritage, which consists of traditional techniques linked to modernist trades, with a contemporary feel”.

Escola Carlit’s playground, one of those in the network of school playgrounds that have been opened up to the public, is the first piece to bring together these characteristics. In this case, the project was carried out in 2013 and relied on the participation of boys and girls from the second year of Primary School in collaboration with Escola Massana. The students from Escola Carlit proposed a word, a language and a country, and the young artists from Massana translated into a graphical image which was then transferred to the wall. Two other schools are currently working on a piece that is to decorate one of their playground walls. In both cases they will be illustrations of a poem. They are the Escola Mallorca, which is working on "Vistes al mar" by Joan Maragall, and the Institute Fort Pius which is working on "A una amada" by Sappho of Lesbos.