The Right Brain Initiative


Artist Details

Sarah Ferguson (Young Audiences)

Limited Availability Spring Availability


Book this artist using the Residency Request Form


Imagine, Design, Create

Discussing the mural theme with each class allows the students to collaboratively decide what the theme means to them and what idea they would like to develop as a class for the mural.


During hands on art processes, students experiment with and learn about elements of design including: color, contrast, texture, shapes, and composition.


When making painted papers students explore color mixing with acrylic paints on Tyvek paper. They use a variety of brushes and other tools to create texture in paint and build layers.


In the collage session the painted papers become a shared resource for the whole class. Students consider color and contrast when selecting painted papers, then experiment with shape and proportion as they cut and build, overlap and assemble the parts, and give form to their idea.


The processes, tools and experiences give them a broader understanding of the elements of design, and increased self-confidence as they expand their technical and visual vocabulary.


Develop patience, persistence, and problem solving skills to see a project through to completion. The opportunity to work collaboratively on a theme or idea.


Reflect on the stages of this art process, appreciate personal and group accomplishments, and celebrate the completed mural which is their legacy and a gift to the school.


My goal is to share a collaborative mural art process from concept to completion. Hands-on art experiences invite all types of learners to have fun as they flex their creative muscle and think as artists. Children learn about an art medium and process. They explore, experiment, problem solve and give form to their idea, then each child’s visual art creation becomes part of the permanent school mural. 


I am a visual artist working in 2D, 3D and mixed-media, and have been a teaching artist for over twenty years in many community settings including libraries, parks, and schools. I have been awarded several grants by the Regional Arts and Culture Council, for community art, and art in education projects.

I attended the Ontario College of Art, (now OCAD) in Toronto, Canada and also the California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA) in Oakland, where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.


Young Audiences teaching artists are committed to inspiring the imaginations of young people and have strategies for working with the complexities of school environments. Through a variety of ongoing professional development opportunities and a multi-faceted evaluation system, as well as through their experience with students and educators, Young Audiences teaching artists are continually growing as teachers and as artists.


2D Visual Arts,3D Visual Arts,








Thinking Big:  Painted Paper Collage Mural: A permanent all-school mural, created with the students’ artwork through a collaborative design and art process.


Session 1. (30 minutes). Ideas: students discuss the mural and develop ideas around a particular theme to find their classroom’s focus for mural project.
Sessions 2 and 3, begin with a demonstration of the art process for that day; proper use of tools and materials, studio expectations, and Q and A, — then it’s time to make art.


Session 2. (75 minutes). Paint papers: young artists experiment with color mixing, creating texture, and building layers using a variety of tools. The students use liquid acrylic paint on Tyvek paper and create papers for the whole class to share in session 3.


Session 3. (75 minutes). Collage build: students choose painted papers, consider shapes of what they want to build, cut shapes, experiment with contrast and layers, overlap and assemble the parts to give form to their idea. Students may work individually or in small groups depending on the project.


Session 4. (20 minutes). Celebrate. After mural installation is complete, each class meets at the mural to reflect on the process and celebrate individual and group accomplishments. It’s a chance for students to find their own work, see what other classes created and reflect on what we accomplish when we work together.


When students immerse themselves in the painted paper collage project and connect it to curriculum, they gain a deeper understanding of the subject they are studying by exploring it through a different modality while also learning the visual art concepts through hands-on experience. The elements of design for visual art enhance the students observational skills which strengthen writing: color, contrast, details and texture.


Also found in this residency: art vocabulary, exposure to tools and processes, intuitive use of proportion, scale, and balance, opportunity to experiment with new materials, and to work collaboratively. These experiences increase self-confidence and enhance learning in other subjects.


Space Preferred: a designated classroom with sink.


Breaks longer than an hour will be charged.


Technology: none


Travel:  I drive and am available for residencies outside of Portland.

Travel Costs: Artist may charge for travel costs based on site location.


Schedule:  Sessions are scheduled once a week for each class
Other : Schedule depends on scope of project: a grade level or whole school participation effects frequency of sessions


Supplies:  Artist will supply tools and materials at cost of $2.50 – $4 per student.


Charges for mural installation and materials are extra.



$73 per classroom session (50 minutes).

$73 per  hour for preparation, planning and meetings with school.

Additional cost for residency supplies, $2.50- $4.00 per student.

Additional charges for mural installation and materials. Amount depends on scope of project and site.



Questions? Contact your Right Brain Coach.


(503) 225-5900 x231




Stacy Bartley

5th grade Teacher

Milwaukie/El Puente Elementary


Kaline Klass

Teacher and Executive Director of "Let There Be Arts" 2002-14

St James Santiago School, Lincoln City

Elaine Luckenbaugh


Hogan Cedars Elementary

FAQ Arts