by Susan Mikula Campbell
Niagara-Wheatfield High School was expected to unveil a new student-created sculpture Wednesday evening.
This is the third year N-W art students have created a sculpture for the school's inner courtyard. This year, however, Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Education students shared their welding skills to help complete the sculpture.
"The kids are fabricating all of it," said art teacher Tracy Bloom as she showed a video of the sculpture's creation to the Board of Education last week. "I'm really excited, because you usually don't see this at the high school level."
This year's theme was "creativity."
"Just the discussion about how we define creativity was worth the whole thing," Bloom said.
Her students and Martha Rogala's ceramic students design and do the majority of work on the sculpture. The project began March 18.
The sculpture is about creativity, how it begins with the brain that comes up with ideas and concepts. Then through the brain materials are used to create the art, expressing the ideas. Finally it is through the brain again that those who view the art experience it, deciding for themselves the meaning of the work based on their own perceptions and points of view, Bloom said.
The students were challenged with representing this flow of ideas for creativity, and abstracting their imagery for a more elegant composition. They had to work collaboratively, honoring all ideas from the group, and in doing so, were able to come up with something more creative than if they had worked alone, Bloom explained. The construction of the sculpture was also done collaboratively, and in doing so, they were able to create something much grander than if they had worked alone.
Sculpture students working on the art work included Zachary Alexander, Brandie Anderson, Andrew Benham, Christopher Bondi, Kristina Butski, Tarah Candella, Alyssa Casale, Ashley Dixon, Angelina Ferlito, Zackary Kirchmeyer, Scott Paige, Amanda Pofi, Claudio Rodriguez, Rocco Strangio and Caitlyn Swanson.
Ceramics students involved included: Andrew Benham, Stephanie Bowman, Olivia Caldwell, Amy Carr, Alyssa Casale, Melissa Cunningham, Jeenarak Duangsuwan, Taylor Eckler, Matthew Emery, Krystal Fauzey, Stephanie Gaines, Briana Gault, Megan Hardy, Erin Haseley, Maggie Hempel, Stacy Hillman, Joelle Hughes, Michelle James, Manmehar Kaur, Karen Kummer, Kelsey Lange, Kaitlyn Luss, Jason Marshall, Amanda Miera, Amanda Murphy, Jessica Nowakowski, Joshua Ortiz, Rachel Pearson, Victoria Piazza, Kristi Pilato, Jennifer Reil, Shannon Roth, Anna Schultz, Caitlyn Swanson, Whitney Taylor, Ashley Warren, Melissa Werner and Jamie Williams.
BOCES students who did welding for the sculpture included Steve Kudiba from Niagara-Wheatfield High School and Chris Kunzelman from North Tonawanda High School with their instructor Steve Frey.
In other matters at the June 2 Board of Education meeting: