A collaboration with One-Eyed Betty’s is a great example of Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies‘ focus on authentic learning and application of human-centered design.
One-Eyed Betty’s — a popular casual restaurant, located in Ferndale, MI — asked HFA staff for help in creating a mural for its interior. Ferndale is located just north of Detroit. It has a strong business district, and is known for being inclusive.
Anita Bates, the school’s12th grade art teacher, jumped at the opportunity to organize the project. She took students to the restaurant to observe the environment, talk with patrons and staff, and sample the food to gain an understanding of the audience for the artwork.
Each student then created a 12×18” prototype of their mural concept. Staff from One-Eyed Betty’s visited the school and selected 12 possible pieces. They then displayed the pieces in the restaurant and solicited customer feedback to inform the selection of the winning piece.
One-Eyed Betty’s attended the opening of school’s Semester in Review Art Show in February to announce the winner, Ted Gloster, Jr. for his work, “Joy.” Ted was awarded a $500 prize. The owner of the restaurant was so impressed with the pieces that, after the ceremony, he told Ms. Bates that he also wanted to have two more students develop their prototypes into full- scale murals for the restaurant.
Work on the full-scale mural is under way. Ted put down the gesso and is currently transferring the image to canvas.
Cheers to One-Eyed Betty’s for inviting HFA students to participate in a collaborative project — one in which they could learn with and from staff, patrons, and their community!