Progress continues to be made on Portsmouth City School District’s Human Right Garden. After breaking ground Sept. 21, students are now working on their ideas and concepts for the sculptures that will decorate the garden.
Conceptualized by Art Teacher, April Deacon, The Human Rights Garden will be a permanent outdoor sculpture and plant garden located on the Applegate Green, based upon the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The project was funded by the Ohio Arts Council’s TeachArtsOhio Initiative.
The seventh grade gifted students and high school Art I students worked alongside visiting artist Kevin Lyles to create paper castings based upon the rights they’ve studied. These paper castings will not be featured in the garden, however, they are a crucial part of the students understanding of the sculpture making process.
“These kids are awesome,” said Lyles. “It’s going really well. The students have been working really hard and they’ve been paying close attention to what we’ve been teaching them. I think they’re really going to ‘wow’ the community once they get it all completed and people are able to see what they’ve done.”
The high school Three-Dimensional Art students also worked with Lyles on the preliminary designs for three large-scale bronze, aluminum and stone sculptures also based upon the theme of Human Rights. The students will also be hosted at Rio Grande to observe their work come to life in bronze through the process of lost-wax casting.
The students also worked alongside visiting Welsh artist, Bryan Thomas. Thomas helped the students to create molds for pieces of architectural salvage that will be used throughout the garden as either paving stones, or pieces for benches and sculptures.
The Building and Maintenance students will also be working to design and build benches for the space.
In the future, students will also be working with educators and designers from the Franklin Park Conservatory. The fifth grade science students will work with these educators to learn about plants and ecosystems. During this phase, the Three-Dimensional Art students will bring the garden to life by selecting plants with the help of Franklin Park Horticulture Designer, Garet Martin.
The project is slotted to be completed by the end of the school year, in May of 2017. The garden produced will be just the first part of a multi-phase learning series that will continue to grow throughout the years and impact elementary, junior high and high school learners. In the coming years, the school hopes to add an outdoor physical fitness area, a vegetable garden, gazebos and an outdoor exhibition space for art display
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.