“Outdoor Sculpture” Elective at The Sharon Academy

In an Outdoor Sculpture elective, which I led at The Sharon Academy for 10 students from late March to early June, we focused on two very different group projects utilizing saplings. For the first two classes, students focused on the gathering and cutting of the saplings. They then peeled the bark from the saplings. We selected the most bendy and supple of this material and, utilizing cedar posts as anchors, we began the construction of two shade structures, pictured here:




These half domes or “apses” are located on the soccer field end of the volleyball zone. They will form a trellis system for scarlet runner beans and 2 northern kiwi plants. Each structure is 10’ tall, 16’ in length with a width/depth of 10’.

For the second project, we utilized the thicker non-bendable pieces of the saplings along with sapling stakes from a previous art project. After the bark was stripped off, I cut this material into lengths varying from a foot to five and a half feet. We ended up with approximately 500 stakes that were then painted white. These stakes were then driven into the ground in a grid-like formation so that the stakes went from 6” to 5 feet above the ground, pictured here:




From a distance, this white piece appears as a curvilinear form. This was a collaborative team effort requiring that all students put in a majority of class time on material prep. I trust the students will come to value this unique experience. The installation is beside the entrance driveway to the school.

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