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The Power of Space: Environmental and Outdoor Sculpture at Yorktown Education
Students, faculty, parents, and the public may have noticed intense colors, free-flowing fabrics, crazy lawn ornaments,
and reflective light in the space between the high school and elementary buildings. These objects are all apart of our middle and high school sculpture installations! These large, interactive, collaborative sculptures were inspired by thinking about the concept of everyday space and how we view and encounter it. Both classes took a field trip to the Nasher Sculpture Center to view the works of Giuseppe Penone and Alex Israel, two artists that use sculpture in different ways to communicate the power of personal relationships to places, and emphasize the importance of space and location.
Coming away from the exhibitions with a new mindset, our students engaged in discussions about their feelings and interpretations of the little space between the two buildings.
The high school sculpture, titled Get Off My Lawn! is located on the back grass lot. The high school class noticed the sterility of the artificially crafted commercial space, and wanted to show viewers how these commercial spaces are similar to residential lawns in the sense that both spaces are man-made, maintained constantly, host non-native plants, are overtly clean and sterile, and reflect western ideologies of the “beautiful” in an outdoor space. The student’s artistic statement is one of showcasing the ultimate lawn: with tacky painted lawn chairs, garden gnomes, plastic flamingos, fake flower vines, and a gaudy “bird bath” that hosts small rubber ducks.
The middle school sculpture, titled Deep Breath, is in front of the high school sculpture. This class interpreted the small space in a different way from the high school students: Instead of noticing the commercial aspects of the space, the students stated that the space serves as a place for them to relax outside; retreating from the indoor classroom for a brief moment. The students felt that the sky was the most powerful feature of the open space, and wanted to create a sculpture that emphasized the importance of its presence and activity. With free-flowing sunset-colored fabrics, tilted mirrors, shrub lights, and stoic sky-painted beams, this sculpture captures features of the natural sky using artificial means, paying homage to it.
I couldn’t be more proud of our art students and their amazing abilities to think conceptually and creatively, work together, and build two amazing public sculptures that have charmed and inspired people within the school.
We’re featuring a yearbook project that students and parents can get involved in! Selfies with the Sculptures is a way for all students and parents to view and interact with the outdoor sculptures that our students have created. Here’s how to get involved:
- Take a selfie with the sculptures (parents join in, too!)
- Be creative with your poses and photos!
- Send them in to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Make the yearbook!
A friendly reminder: While selfies are encouraged, the artists and I ask that you please not touch or move any of the objects involved in the sculpture.
Be sure to get your selfies in while you can! The installations are temporary, and will come down in April.