- During the Opening Plenary, we present the blank canvases --
explaining that these serve as a metaphor for the conference. By each of us sharing
our ideas, we can work together to create a powerful product. The wonder is that as the
conference develops, so does the mural. (This takes about a minute and a half).
- The blank canvases are then placed in an "open studio" in
the hallway outside the meeting areas (see logistics below). People simply drop by
and create their message on small pieces of paper as they walk from one session to the
other (or during breaks).
- We collage/glue the participant's messages into the canvas
mural--mostly on the background of the central image being painted. Naturally, the
individual drawings/messages as well as the central image in the mural address the
conference's central themes.
- The conference is closed it with the unveiling and artist's signing
of a colorful mural that documented those ideas and thoughts that participants thought to
be most relevant during the conference.
- After the conference, the mural can serve as a vehicle to convey the
collective resolve of those who participated. Other groups have done this by
generating media attention during the conference, having the mural travel to other
conferences/sites, and by disseminating posters and/or postcards of the finished mural.
The Open Studio
For the on-site "open
studio", we will need about a 15' x 20' space with lots of light. We'll also need
about 5 tables--three lined up against a flush wall (against which we can lean canvases
and paint) and two others in the center with chairs for folks to sit and compose their
messages. This should be in a very central place-- in a hallway, so that participants can
drop by and take a minute to write between sessions.
The Opening and Closing
For the opening and closing plenary, we need three identical easels
(most hotels have them available for posters and signage). The easels must be
capable of holding each of the 4 foot tall canvases, without puncturing them at the
As an alternative, during the Opening
Plenary, we can have the canvases held up by three or four pre-selected individuals (e.g.:
the conference co-chairs, honored guests, youth and/or random participants).
During the Closing Plenary, we need a white sheet, about 10 feet
long (again hotel can provide long table clothes, etc) to use in the unveiling.
There should be adequate light shining on the three canvases.