The field at Hawthorne Elementary School transformed into a living piece of art on Feb. 28 as each of the school’s 675-plus students became part of a human mosaic hawk for a school-wide art project. Artist Daniel Dancer with Art for the Sky guided students to design the living piece of artwork on the Hawthorne field, then climbed aboard a Riverside Police Department helicopter and photographed the “hawk.” Students, teachers and parents acted as living strokes of an artists’ brush staying as still as they could. Only a few twitches or adjusting of T-shirts here and there hinted to the fact that this art was alive. The next day, Mr. Dancer shared the culmination of the project with the school and community. Each student received a copy of the finished piece of art. The hawk art project was made possible through a Riverside Educational Enrichment (REEF) grant written by teacher Mariana Robles. It provided a way for the entire Hawthorne student body to become part of a piece of art as well as to work together toward a common goal. Robles wrote the grant for the project after learning about Mr. Dancer’s work at other schools across the country and beyond. Activities integrating a variety of educational standards started before the big moment Thursday morning. All students learned the song “Wings to Fly” prior to the event. Upper grade students were charged with using geometry concepts to scale the large picture for the field. Other students then worked with Dancer to sketch the outline in bark and sand on the field. The project also became a focal point for other lessons, such as environmental awareness. “We are hoping that we’re building a sense of community, ”Robles said. “This is part of coming together…showing ourselves that we can do something special,” The living picture project is just one part of a new focus at Hawthorne, which has embraced the teacher-initiated program, ARTECH, integrating art and technology into teaching and learning across the curriculum.