I have been the art teacher at Goodrich Middle School for the past 10 years, after teaching at Pound Middle School for 15 years. In 8th grade, students have the first chance to choose their elective classes and can choose one semester of art so they come to this class with an interest and excitement to learn and create. The first unit we do each semester is about the 1960's Optical Art (OP art) movement/style and I knew that type of art would be perfect for them to use on the rain barrel. Some of the 8th graders have had art classes in the other middle school grades and some have not so there is a mix of experience and knowledge and skill in each of the two 8th grade classes that worked on this rain barrel.
The 8th grade art students used Optical Illusion style art and raindrops as their theme on this rain barrel. The black and white designs are typical of this style of art from the 1960's and the more you look at the patterns the more the hidden rain drops appear. The top of the barrel was the biggest challenge as the grid pattern is very small and detailed. All the students that worked on the barrel learned how precisely and carefully they had to paint the edges of the shapes to make the Op art look authentic.