Sculpting Imagination: Unmasking the Magic of Child’s Play

South Lakes High School Art students have recently created a piece of work available to the public! This colorful sculpture can be found outside the school, where students can sit and relax with classmates and teachers. An interview was conducted with South Lakes High School’s Art Teacher, Mr. Rando, to discover more about the project.


How long did the project take and who was involved?

“I think it took around two months. [The students] started it before the holiday season, and as they reflected back on it, they hadn’t realized how much they [progressed] through the steps and stages throughout the project. We had a variety of students working with large-scale saws, and using the screw guns. There is always a core group of students who are the driving leaders, but literally; the whole class, I would say, had at least a part they had contributed.”


What was the original plan, and what was the entire concept?

“There wasn’t actually an original plan. What happened as an idea, [these students would’ve] liked to do something as far as public artwork for school grounds. We started by taking the material we had left over from the lake sculptures. Repurposing materials, we had started with painting over that material. [Students] measured the boards and turned those measurements into a small scale. From then, the students approached the real material, but that translation was interpretive. A bench [came into mind, and the students decided to take it from there.] They decided to create a sculpture. It’s a process of morphing called ‘design thinking,’ they had looked at this one unit and decided to replicate it. There are actually three units, but they’re interlocked, so you’d never notice that.”


What was the most challenging part, and what was the most interesting part?

“The assembly process actually, because it is physically challenging to get the boards to come together and [piling up holes, in order] to make sure that it’s sturdy and there’s a lot of structural engineering that comes with it. That’s something that we can take for granted whenever we look at a stool or chair. There’s this engineering criterion that has to be thought about, and that’s what really becomes an educational component [within this project.] It’s amazing because students took off operating drills to make students come together to create the sculpture. Painting, patterns, and measurements were done over time. Some students were very meticulous, while others were abstract in their approach.”

South Lakes High School also works with Public Art Reston, a non-profit organization. Public Art Reston will have this feature on their website and will be submitted to a national website. Those students will receive public praise for this project. Moreover, Mr. Rando hopes that school grounds can become larger displays of sculptures, and there will be more created artwork around the school.