The Many Canvas Mural Project is a great way for kids, youth, and adults to express their faith while sharing in community, even in the midst of a pandemic.
A Many Canvas Mural is exactly what it sounds like. It's a mural made of many canvases. What ties all the canvases together is scripture. Your church gets to make a beautiful mural while its people have the chance to share their artistic gifts. The mural consists of 20-24 individual 9x12" canvases that, when combined, display the words you have chosen.
This guide will help you get started by choosing a text, create instructions, recommend some art styles, and even set up an online sign up page. It's up to you to set up this project for your congregation and to provide canvases for your artists.
One church had such a great response to their Silent Night mural that they added on an extra verse to meet demand!
First, you will need to choose the Scripture passage for your mural. You might also want to choose a song or quote from a theologian. We recommend either Jesus’ Great Commandment or Paul's Fruits of the Spirit. Lyrics to favorite hymns are also a good choice. The words you choose must be broken up and assigned to different canvases. Here are a few examples of how to do that:
Here are some more sample texts including "I Have A Dream" and Silent Night:
Each canvas features 1-4 words from your chosen text. It’s up to each artist how she or he would like to depict those words. Artists of all ages and skill levels are welcome! We recommend creating a sign up and providing specific instructions for your artists.
Here are the recommended instructions for the artists:
Your artwork needs to be completed in landscape style (the longer canvas side should be horizontal).
You must include all of the words assigned to your canvas and no additional words. You must also include assigned punctuation.
The words must be clearly visible.
The words need to be large (at least Arial font size 150).
The words can be in any font, script, or handwriting type as long as they are easily legible.
The words can be in lowercase or uppercase letters.
You may display the words in multiple languages as long as one of those languages is English.
You may use whatever art form you like including acrylic, oil paint, watercolor, decoupage, melted crayon, etc (examples are listed below).
You must cover the whole canvas (even if you want some sections to be white, you’ll need to cover the section with white paint or paper).
It's up to you what to do with the canvases but we recommend collecting them to be displayed at your church for a period of time before they are returned to the artists.
Here are some other helpful tips for a project like this:
Canvases work much better than panels. You might be tempted to go with cheaper canvas panels over the slightly more expensive stretched canvases, but we can say with experience that the difficulty in hanging panels is not worth the cost savings.
9x12" canvases work well because they're affordable and a good size for individual artists and the overall mural. Twenty of these canvases make a 48x45" or 60x36" mural, perfect for a Narthex wall.
If you are choosing your own passage for a many canvas mural, we recommend choosing a passage with a little repetition and a lot of engaging nouns and verbs. Families have commented that they appreciate having the option to choose canvases that have exactly the same words because that can be helpful with competitive siblings.
It's also a good idea to offer families art supplies if they need them.
Some families may already have canvases at home and prefer to use their own. Just make sure they use the same size as everyone else (we recommend 9x12")
Creating a Sign Up Page
This is a step-by-step guide to using Eventbrite to create a sign up page for your church's Many Canvas Mural Project. The page will let individuals or families sign up and select their specific canvas(es). They'll also be able to review the instructions and take a look at example art styles.
If you haven't already, sign up for Eventbrite. It's easy to do and there is a free account option. Everything I am showing you in this tutorial is possible with a free account.
The panel on the left allows you to select "Order Options." From that menu you can set up the form that participants fill out after signing up and choosing a canvas as well as the confirmation email that they receive. It's completely up to you how you want to design those aspects of your sign up process.
That's all I have for you. I hope this helped.