December 12, 2008

Sculpting for a Good Cause

Art major Jon Canter ’11 writes about his work with local children to produce a sculpture for Easton’s Breast Cancer Awareness Garden

Art major Jon Canter ’11 (New York, N.Y.) worked with Alastair Noble, assistant professor of art, and children from the Boys and Girls Club of Easton to construct a sculpture made of different types of trees for the Breast Cancer Awareness Garden in Riverside Park.

Over the course of the fall semester, I worked with Professor Alastair Noble in an independent study project focusing on a public sculpture piece. Since the sculpture would be displayed at the Breast Cancer Awareness Garden down by Riverside Park, I figured I would create a piece that would symbolize growth, diversity, and life. Working with the Boys and Girls Club of Easton, we created a veined tree, which was constructed of many different types of trees.

Throughout the weeks, the children and I collected logs, branches, and twigs. With these materials, we joined the pieces together using pegging systems. Each joint was connected by a wooden rod, which was glued and screwed to link each piece of wood. Eventually, many of these pegging systems created one twisting structure.

The sculpture not only allowed me to experiment with a new medium, but also let me teach the children to be creative with their ideas. Many of the children were afraid of art because there is no right or wrong answer. As a mentor, I stressed the importance of doing what they liked. Art is abstract; therefore, the right answer was what each child enjoyed.

Through the project, we collaboratively worked to come up with the formation of the sculpture. While the building of the sculpture was difficult to assemble in such a short period of time, the children and I are fully satisfied with the finished product. As a student, I was honored to teach others while learning myself. In the future, I hope to do more group public sculpture projects, because I feel, as a Lafayette student, it is my duty to give back to the community of Easton.

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