irl at Asheville Middle School

We love and support Asheville Middle School's irl program!  Our programming with middle school students adheres to a process-based education model. Students gain the skills and knowledge to implement a wide variety of student-led artistic projects. We build on academic skills from the classroom—mathematics, history, science—and helps apply those skills to real life. Our project-driven curriculum provides a unique alternative to conventional classroom learning. We work with students to learn about various creative disciplines as well as what is beyond the walls of their schools; teaching students how to find better, collective solutions to community problems through creative experimentation. We believe in problem-solving starts with listening and understanding.

We are working on getting back on their schedule in spring 2020.  In the meantime - check out all that they are offering here!

Past Middle School Collaborations

Asheville Middle SChool

We have collaborated with Brent Skidmore’s ART 310 students at UNC Asheville on multiple occasions with Asheville Middle School’s IRL program. 

We worked with students to design and install a mural in the Randolph Learning Center (currently Isaac Dickson Elementary's temporary location)

We worked with artist's Ian Wilkinson and Alex Irvin on the large scale mural project on the facade of Hall Fletcher Elementary school.  Our students from AMS and UNC Asheville helped reproduce and glaze ALL of the tiles that are installed, as well as helped finish up some of the painted pieces that were installed. 

We worked at the Roots + Wings Creative Campus creating original artwork to be installed in the new Asheville Middle School building.

erwin middle school

We collaborated with Brent Skidmore’s ART 310 students at UNC Asheville with the Art Club at Irwin Middle school to create an installation of collage and mixed media pieces in the auditorium.  Students created over 90 individual pieces!


We worked with Enka Middle School in collaboration with the YMCA of WNC.  Our Roots + Wings Community Design Lab explored Mandalas using clay and mosaic techniques. 

Our teaching artist Holly worked with students on designs that ultimately led to individual mosaic mandalas that were installed on site on the west patio area.

We also with students to develop ideas for a temporary installation somewhere inside the school walls.  Students decided to use inspiration from Hot Air Balloons, which are commonly seen locally in this region. They worked in teams to collaborate and create three different hot air balloon designs, all using recycled materials.




Our 2014 spring session was inspired by an exhibition at the Art Museum full of some really great examples of Cyanotypes.  A cyanotype is a photographic printing process that involves coating paper with chemicals and objects/imagery and when exposed to ultraviolet light the paper turns a steel-grey-blue color, but whatever object is placed on the paper during exposure remains white.

We are experimenting with making them using natural, human made objects; as well as with imagery that they create that is transferred onto transparencies.  Students are making individual works as well as a group collaborative project that will be exhibited on campus at AMS.