Washington School Dedicates Garden Sculptures
May 28, 2014
The students and staff at Washington Elementary School recently dedicated the Washington Garden Sculptures in the school's Butterfly Garden. Thanks to a grant from the Mt. Lebanon Foundation for Education, sculptures of a frog, caterpillar, ladybug, bunny, and turtle are now a permanent art installation in the garden. The project began in 2013, the result of a collaboration between Principal Mary Kay Davis, artist and Mt. Lebanon resident, Ms. Jan Loney, and Washington art teacher, Mrs. Jodi McKeever. The sculptures are of five animals and insects that are part of the garden's landscape. The art pieces are made of a steel armature frame and concrete, and covered in small glass stones. The sculptures were installed in the school’s butterfly garden located at the front of the school, to be enjoyed by the students and community.
The outdoor installation was inspired by the work of well-known artists such as Henry Moore, Alexander Calder and Dale Chihuly. All three of these artists created pieces that live in an outdoor space, and are meant to be viewed in a natural setting. Students were introduced to these artists and the project began with each child making a mini-ceramic version of the larger animal their grade would create.
Ms. Loney worked with welder, Chad Fedinick, to make the steel armatures for the animals, which she then delivered to the school. She spent three full school days at Washington, working with the students and Mrs. McKeever on the three major parts of the process: packing the concrete onto the steel frames, gluing the glass stones on the hardened concrete forms, and grouting. Each class helped with one of these three steps. The installation was dedicated on May 21, 2014.
Washington School Garden Sculpture Slideshow
More information and detailed photos of the sculpture-making process can be found on Mrs. McKeever's blog: http://blog.mtlsd.org/ARTBeat
More information about artist Jan Loney and her work can be found on her website: www.metalier.com.