Sculpture Week

Whenever I teach art classes, one of my constant refrains is, “It’s art. If it doesn’t work out exactly the way you imagined then just go with it. It’ll be fine.”

That turned out to be a very accurate statement about the two weeks of children’s sculpture activities that we just finished. Due to a couple unfortunate family emergencies, we had to adapt—quickly. The projects we’d planned to do didn’t happen. Instead of a visiting artist, Jane Vickers and I led most of the activities. But you know what? It worked out just fine.

The kids had fun. They built the most elaborate rolled-newspaper sculptures I’ve ever seen kids at Patchwork create. One was a great space ship and the other a bug-like tower.

They created mosaic tiles to adorn our new compost bins that they dubbed “Compost Central”. The mosaic will be on a sign above the bins and will echo the nearby “Welcome to the Patchwork Garden” mural, a project that I led more than 10 years ago. It was fun for me to lead the making of the companion piece now.

The kids also worked with Jane to encrust the Garden Wall with a new layer of found objects. The Garden Wall has been an ongoing project for most of Jane’s 16 years at Patchwork, and periodically it’s given a refresher of new glass bits, bottle caps, kitschy figurines, and all sorts of other stuff. It’s beautifully quirky. This time, Jane helped the kids look at the overall design and try to bring some unity and rhythm to the chaos.

During Sculpture Weeks, we also had a visit from a children’s program alum, Brian Jones, who’s now an on-air personality over at WKDQ. He attended the program back when I was teaching art here as a Mennonite Voluntary Service worker. It was great to see that he’s doing well and he made a nice entry about us on his blog

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