Monday, February 26, 2001

Students design art for schools

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer contributor

        HAMILTON — The City of Sculpture is challenging its young artists to create a sculptural legacy for their schools.

        The Public Art, Private Dreams project is an attempt to involve youths in Hamilton's changing image.

  • What: Public Art, Private Dreams student sculpture competition.
  • Where: Fitton Center, 101 S. Monument Ave. in Hamilton.
  • When: Through March 18. Gallery hours vary.
  • Information: Call (513) 863-8873.
        It is sponsored by the Leadership Hamilton Class IX 2000, the community leadership academy, which invited art students at local secondary schools to submit designs for a monumental sculpture to be located at their school.

        “This project was connected to Hamilton's Vision 2020 and the City of Sculpture,” said leadership class spokesman John Fabelo. “Our class project had to be educational in a broad sense. Our focus was to make the students understand that entering a competition is a good thing.”

        Leadership program par ticipants also want the community to benefit from the artistic enhancement of public areas, and to take pride in Hamilton's history.

        Participating schools were Garfield Junior High, Hamilton High, Badin High and Wilson Junior High. The project specified that the designs given first place awards would be built on each school's campus.

        “Sometimes the best sculpture designs didn't necessarily meet all our criteria,” Mr. Fabelo explained. “Buildability was very important. Finding someone who can actually build these designs is part of our next challenge.”

        Justin McCollum, a senior, won first place at Badin for his model The Crusaphix.

        “Questions have arisen in me about community and faith, as I complete my Catholic education,” Mr. McCollum said. “This sculpture is my response to those questions.”

        His design incorporates a black multifaceted cross with a stylized Christ figure attached. He said it symbolizes diversity as well as unity.

        Hamilton High School's top design was crafted by senior Jason Burns and titled “Stairway to Success.” Two stylized hands reach upward to grasp a sphere.

        “My sculpture represents the idea of people working together to achieve goals,” Mr. Burns said.

        The Grad proved a winner for Garfield Junior High artist Zach Boyd. The figure of a student wears a mortar board and holds a book.

        Ninth-graders Amanda Davidson and Sara Watson employed the sword-in-stone theme echoed by all Wilson Junior High School entrants. Embedded in their stone were a book, paint palette, ball and musical note.

        All the submitted designs iare on exhibit in the lobby of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

        Mr. Fabelo said participants are seeking contributions to build and install the sculptures on each campus. He can be contacted at (513) 867-1962 (evenings).


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