Hopes and Dreams, Madison Elementary Students

What are your hopes and dreams? 31 fifth grade graduating students from Madison Elementary in West Allis moulded theirs into a going away gift for the school June 9th, 2011. The Sculpture is a cloaked and hooded person neither man nor woman with the Hopes and Dreams of the students wrapping the sculpture like texture on fabric.

I met Samantha, a beautiful vibrant young woman in the hallway at Aurora Zilber VNA Family hospice last year. Samantha loves art, I shared my site with her so she could experience and learn more about other forms of Art. We became fast friends.

Sam and her mom Jodi (photo on left) inquired about helping the 6th

grade class work on a going away project for the school she attends.  At Madison elementary School it is a tradition that the kids make something to leave behind at the school when they graduate.

Working with kids is one of  my favorite things to do so it was an easy YES.

After speaking with the Principle,  Dr. J. Butler, about how we could incorporate something into the school that would be a permanent piece, we looked for a space where it would reside after completion.

We choose the library the top of the book shelf’s that only stand 4′ high by 35″ wide and 24″ deep seemed like a perfect space to hold a sculpture.

After some conversation about the structure and meaning of the piece we choose the title “Hopes and Dreams” and the body of the work would be a cloaked person, neither man nor woman, with the writings of the graduating class laid like texture and patterns on the fabric of the cloak .

I researched a few quotes on hopes and dreams as samples for the students to ponder and gave the kids a sample size tile on paper where they could write, play draw and then bring with them so we could transfer their work  to tile.

The Art Teacher at Madison, Ms. Chwala talked to the students about the work, their project and we were off and running.

Six weeks ago on a Wednesday afternoon I arrived to work with the 31 graduating students from Madison with 50 pounds of clay slabbed out and ready to be worked on.

The  students were excited by creating a work of Art, that they would dedicate to their school as a graduation present but also by the permanence of it.  The students added their hopes and dreams to each of the 31 tiles, some of them drew pictures, some wrote their dreams, others the dreams of the world.

When we were done I transported the tiles safely back to the studio where I began to shape the flat tiles into our sculpture.

For some of the tiles it was easy to change them from flat to sculptural as the designs within the tiles led them to be molded.

As here the bottom left side quote above, became the part of the cloak that laid over the hand clinching it closed.

Hopes and Dreams was displayed today at the celebration for the graduating students and will reside in the library of Madison elementary School in West Allis, Wisconsin.For this graduating class they drew their dreams into hopes and dreams to be left behind in this sculpture for future students to ponder their dreams for the future.


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