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From left, MacArthur Middle School eighth-graders Peyton Maxwell, Gabrielle Toppah and Valerie Berlin work on the drawing “Sweet Dreams” Friday outside the school. The chalk art drawings were the final stage of a lesson on the Surrealist art school. Students based the works on their dreams over the last few weeks.Shayla Certain, an eighth-grader at MacArthur Middle School, works as part of a team to draw “Circle of Life,” one of the many Surrealist chalk art creations adorning the outside of the school. The chalk art drawings are the final project of a lesson on Surrealism in art classes.From left, Ethan Chain, Elyse Pitre, Tanner Sammons and Katelynn Schotts create chalk art Friday morning at MacArthur Middle School. Students have been studying the Surrealist art school in art class and created chalk art based on their dream journals as the final project for the lesson.

City students chalk up their dreams

The sidewalks at MacArthur Middle School are alive with the dreams and nightmares of students.

Art teacher Deborah McNally's students created sidewalk chalk art around the outside of the school Thursday and Friday as the final part of a lesson on the Surrealist school of art. Students in grades 6 through 8 participated.

Students learned about the history, influences and works of the Surrealist artists of the early 20th century, which included well-known artists like Max Ernst and Salvador Dali, among others. Surrealism sought to explore the boundaries of art and reality through the juxtaposition of dream and symbolic imagery with the everyday world.

McNally had her students keep journals of their dreams for several weeks, then she broke them into teams to create works of art based on those journals.

The chalk art masterpieces developed around themes. For instance, one was named "Sweet Dreams" and contained images of desserts and other comfort foods.

Another was called "Circle of Life" and was a statement about how life contains a constant stream of hurdles and challenges.

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