Students Create Jellybean Mosaics


Jellybean Masterpieces Burst with Student Creativity

Most kids love jellybeans at Easter time, but the students at Cardinal Pacelli have an entirely unique appreciation for this colorful confection. For six years now, the first and second graders have used jellybeans to create an Easter masterpiece. April 22 is National Jellybean Day, and if you want to see what young people can do with jellybeans, then look no further than the Cardinal Pacelli cafeteria.

A series of beautiful Easter scenes—made from jellybeans—are displayed in 24 x 36” inch frames. This endeavor, known at Cardinal Pacelli as the “Easter Mosaic Masterpiece,” is the brainchild of Pacelli mom Jill Giles. She is the head of the school’s Fine Arts Committee, and she found a unique way to combine art and religion. Jill said, “I love to find ways to incorporate art within the curriculum. The candy is a unique medium, and our students learn so much about color, art concepts and teamwork as they complete the project.”

The jellybean mosaics take about three weeks to complete. Giles works with small groups of students during art class to create the artwork. After the image is sketched on a canvas, the students take turns selecting and gluing jelly beans into the scene. Giles estimates about 4,000 jellybeans go into each creation, not counting the ones that may end up as an impromptu snack.

This year’s masterpiece depicts the Paschal candle. The first and second graders learned that this candle represents Christ, as the Light of the World. They see this candle lit at Mass each week during the Easter season. All six of the jellybean masterpieces can be seen in the Cardinal Pacelli cafeteria, where they appear alongside a plaque featuring a jellybean prayer.