'Windermere Wings' art project reflects individuality, school community

A schoolwide art project at Windermere Elementary School is serving as a vibrant reminder of both individuality and community.

Now hanging in the entryway of the school is a set of “Windermere Wings,” made up of hundreds of feathers created by students in kindergarten through fifth grade as reflections of themselves.

“Coming into the school year, I wanted to start the year off with a project that not only allowed me to get to know my students but also give us the opportunity to create something together,” said Megan Taylor, Windermere’s new art teacher.

She found inspiration in the #whatliftsyou campaign by artist Kelsey Montague, whose large-scale murals of intricately patterned wings appear in cities around the world. Windermere’s year-long exploration of the theme “What makes you, YOU?” happened to fit in perfectly with her idea.

“Throughout this whole project, students were encouraged to consider what plays a role in making them the amazing individuals they are and to celebrate that within their project,” Taylor said.

Through patterns, symbols and images, each student’s individuality comes through in every feather of the Windermere Wings. Various art techniques were used to add bright splashes of color to the feathers. Students in grades 1 and 2 used a crayon resist technique, for instance, and students in grades 4 and 5 created a watercolor effect by using markers and water.  

“My favorite part of this project is that the students knew that all these different and individualistic feathers would be put together to create a beautiful set of Windermere Wings,” Taylor said. “We, as individuals, within the school are all different, but together we are the Windermere Hawks!”

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