When director Kelly Lacy (SFWHS Theater Program and Humanities teacher) wanted to give the high school’s production of Oliver! a more contemporary urban feel, it occurred to her to reach out to alumni Tyler Iorillo to see if he would be interested in being involved. Tyler is a SF Waldorf “lifer” who started out in Kindergarten with Dagmar Eisele and graduated in 2010 from our high school program. He is currently pursuing a combined major in Urban Studies and Illustration at the New School in New York City.
Tyler’s interest in art really began in high school where he started to develop his own style and found himself very drawn to illustration with bold outlines. Tyler grew up in the Mission District and feels very drawn to urban settings and street art. By senior year he had discovered that he really liked working on large surfaces and had already painted his first “permission wall” when a neighbor agreed to let him transform a graffiti-covered garage door. He enjoyed that random people saw his work and that some even wondered out loud if he really had permission to do what he was doing. For Tyler’s senior project he did a wall mural and documented the process from locating a wall, to getting permission, to a wonderful time lapse video of himself painting the wall. Many of you may have seen the two large portraits on canvas of Martin Luther King, Jr. that Tyler painted for the school to use for MLK Day assemblies each year.
Painting the Oliver! set (pictured left) was a new experience for Tyler. He painted both a back drop and the structural surfaces designed and assembled by SFWS parent Patrick Markle. Ms. Lacy asked him to use Victorian London as an influence (the original setting of the play) and then bring a gritty contemporary urban feel to it. Because it is a musical, she wanted it also to have a lot of color and finally she requested that the graffiti stencils and tags he used were “grade school’ appropriate. Tyler relished the research and the constraints of working with colleagues and the space. He found himself exploring new territory as he had to paint all the structural surfaces of the set in a heightened but realistic manner before he could add the graffiti art and tags he wanted to do.
Tyler’s studies have led him to be very curious about how we use public space and how public art affects people. One of the things that Tyler most credits Waldorf education with teaching him is the ability to sense what kind of reactions his art will engender and the skill to use different approaches and mediums to shift or modify these reactions. Being exposed to so many different artistic mediums at school, he has had the opportunity to really explore their impacts both alone and “mixed and matched”. He hopes to do more public murals and installations to continue working with the interplay between art and the people interacting with it.
In the meantime, he has plans to develop his own small art business, the Local Illustrations collective. He says “The active interconnectivity at San Francisco Waldorf School gave me a strong sense of the importance of community in small business.” The goal of his new start-up is to provide a space for artist to help each other through networking and collaboration. While his business is still new, Tyler is confident that it will be successful, and he credits Waldorf with giving him the sense that “ you can create almost anything yourself with a little tenacity”.
Be sure to check out www.localillustrations.com or like it on SpaceBook for new projects and paintings! Check out the Local Illustrations website at localillustrations.com.