by Janet Schultz
Lewiston-Porter Middle School dedicated a new student sculpture this past Wednesday, Sept. 14. The work is a culmination of a yearlong collaboration with the Ashford Hallow Foundation and funded through a Target: Arts in Education Grant called "Sculpting Character."
It began when Middle School Art Teachers Terri Savory and Kelly Zimmerman applied for the grant and had the idea to visually represent positive character traits in a sculpted form.
The first part was to take all the eighth graders to Griffins Sculpture Park in East Otto to experience sculpture and nature interacting with each other.
When they returned students were given the opportunity to apply for the Lewiston-Porter Middle School design team. The application process was intense. It included each applicant selecting a piece from the Griffis trip and describing what it meant to them.
The team included 10 students including Taylor Aversa, Lyndsay Bailey, Rachel Buzzard, Monika Clowes, Brenna Donovan, Chelsea Gunderson, Sienna Martinez, Brittany Mezhir, Alessandra Santarosa and Emily Siemucha.
Each one of them chose a character trait they wanted to express in a visual form and then create an individual sculpture representing that trait.
Aversa choose the playful theme and represented it with a tree and person; Bailey's was caring; Donovan's was happiness; Gunderson, peace; Mezhir, generosity; Santarosa, courage and so forth.
"We had to show how the characteristic represented us," said Bailey.
The sculptors drew the templates and personnel from the Ashford Hallow Foundation cut them from metal.
"We worked hard," said Santarosa, whose courage characteristic was represented by reaching for a star to show you getting from where you are to where you want to go.
Mezhir represented generosity by an older person leaning down over a younger person representing sharing.
"We had to do a lot of research and we got a lot of ideas from the field trip to Griffis," said Mezhir.
Savery and Zimmerman designed the final piece and Ashford Hollow created a larger than life metal sculpture exacting that design.
"I like it a lot. It's more than we expected," said Donovan, after seeing the finished piece installed.
"It will be in front of the school for years," said Aversa, who is looking at a career in art.
The sculpture, which can be seen from Creek Road, is permanently installed between the cafeteria windows and the bus loop so that it can receive the most student interaction.