6.07.2011

Gary Griffin Memorial Sculpture



The fourth graders have been the stewards of an MI sculpture project on a monumental scale! The sculpture was built to honor the work of Gary Griffin, a New City School friend and neighbor, who recently passed away. He did a lot of great work for the community and this sculpture was a community effort as well.

The year long theme in fourth grade is Citizens Making a Difference. Gary Griffin is a citizen who made a difference and by honoring him in this way, a seed was planted in the hearts of these children. They got to experience the hard work and joy of being part of a community effort.






All of the students at New City School had a hand in making the tiles but fourth grade took the bulk of responsibility for the project. They rolled out over 600 pounds of clay to cut out over 950 tiles in perfect shapes for the rest of the school to design. They also designed nearly half of those tiles in the Multiple Intelligence theme and then glazed and packaged all 950 tiles. This was obviously a huge responsibility and they took it on with gusto!

This was a really special opportunity to participate in art making that was part of a community effort, part of a long process, and something that will be with New City for a long time to come. Congratulations dear fourth graders on a job well done!



Here is a little ladybug found wandering on the greenware tiles bringing some good luck our way. Each tile was lovingly designed by our k-6 students using one of the multiple intelligences for inspiration.



Carol Fleming is a local artist who served as our expert advisor. She let us use her special recipes for the strong clay and unique glazes. Her guidance, kind nature, and positive attitude helped to make this a fun and successful process.


The sculpture was designed by New City School parent, Jeff Ryan from HOK, and his tireless efforts really brought this entire project to life!


Pictured here: Jeff Ryan, Dr. Tom Hoerr, myself, and Carol Fleming. Special thanks to Tom for helping to make the arts a valued part of our school.




It is inspiring to think of how many people volunteered to help in this community effort. In addition to those mentioned above, I would like to thank: Evan Wykes for making the full scale model, Vince Schell for donating the time to make the laser cut templates, Tim Trotter for the fabrication of the steel formwork, helping to pour the foundation, and installing the blocks, Confluence Fabrication for casting the blocks, Glenn Steiner for the foundation work and installation, the many New City parents for helping to plan and install the blocks and tiles, and to the CWA Association for donating the funds to honor our friend and neighbor.

Thank you for allowing the students to honor Gary Griffin, a citizen who made a difference, and for giving them the opportunity to make a meaningful and long lasting contribution to their community!

2 comments:

Art at Chesterbrook Academy Elementary School said...

What an amazing project.
I could not think of a better way to teach students about community involvement.

Hope Hunter Knight said...

A great design from both near and far. I'm sure this will be appreciated for many years!