Kids work on sculptures for park's garden

Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Asib Smith sands a piece of wood as Noah Anderson watches. The wood is for a sculpture garden that will be placed at Pendleton King Park.

Unlike art exhibits on display for a month, a work by Monte Sano Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders will be in place for years to come.

"This is the first children's sculpture garden in Augusta, and the first effort to create public art with children," said Cindy O'Brien, the executive director of the Art Factory and writer of the project's grant.

The CSRA Community Foundation and the Junior League of Augusta provided the funding.

Atlanta site sculptor Jeff Mather started working with the pupils in January to come up with ideas for the garden, which will be set up at Pendleton King Park on Troupe Street.

The Pendleton King Park trustees requested that the sculptures keep in line with the park's theme as a bird sanctuary, Ms. O'Brien said.

The garden's design includes eight sculptures that will be made from wood and painted.

The pieces will be placed in an elliptical formation - the shape of a bird's egg.

Sculptures are stylized, but represent the egg of a robin, the heart of a sparrow, the nest of a black bird and the eye of a hawk.

"They are working so hard," Principal Bequi Coar said of the 100 pupils working on the project.

Not only is the project art-focused but it also brings in other subjects including science and math. The pupils received lessons in measuring angles and distances as they prepare the wood, school officials said.

The sculptures are being set up at Pendleton King Park and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in April.

The sculpture project is an outgrowth of a two-year partnership the Art Factory has developed with Monte Sano Elementary School.

The Art Factory provides after-school programs and summer camps at the school.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.

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