Splash Of Color At Stone Spring
Author(s): AMELIA BRUST
Date: September 3, 2015
Section: News (Local)
HARRISONBURG - Students are bringing a sculpture to life at Stone Spring Elementary School this week, thanks to artist-in-residence Kevin Reese. As part of Harrisonburg City Public Schools' Any Given Child fine arts partnership with the Kennedy Center, Reese is leading the creation of mobiles for the school's cafeteria.Mobiles are hanging sculptures with objects attached to rods that balance. A common example is the type of toy that hangs above a baby's crib with objects that spin.
Work at Stone Spring started on Monday, when Reese asked third- and fourth-graders to select shapes from flags hanging around the cafeteria ceiling. Children cut shapes out of foam, which were glued to copper and steel wires.
On Wednesday, Beth Cruse's fourth-grade class painted shapes different colors, including green rhombuses and purple hearts. After the class put away their painting gear, Reese walked them through a lesson in mobile construction. This is his second project with city schools. Last year, he made a sculpture with students at Harrisonburg High School, which stands outside the building's north entrance.
"All the work I do is kinetic in some way, shape or form," he said. Inspired by the mobile's originator, Alexander Calder, Reese wants his work to move in the wind. He has created over 150 school sculptures in the last 14 years. No matter the piece, he said, the most important thing is making sure students "get an extraordinary experience."
Venwar Fateh, 9, said he tried to make his own sculptures at home - out of ice - but the mobile at school should last a little longer. "It's pretty cool helping and making stuff. It's not just for you," he said while painting a pair of different shapes, connected by a wire balanced on his finger. Venwar predicted that future Stone Spring pupils will see his work on the cafeteria ceiling and say, "I want to do that."
Close to 110 students had a hand in creating the mobiles, said Kathleen Taylor, the school's assistant principal. When work is finished, Reese will have about 15 mobiles, each between 5 and 6 feet wide, to hang around the room on Friday.
Reese, a Washington, D.C.-based artist whose mobile residency project School Sculptures works nationwide, did more than design the sculpture. He showed the children how to assemble the pieces "from the bottom up" and will perform a one-man play for the school on Friday.
Contact Amelia Brust at 574-6293 or email@example.com
Why Are the Arts Important?
“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”
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