Reply to Mark: 3rd Graders Make Plans for Outdoor Sculpture | Ardina Greco

Dear Mark,

I always enjoy reading your updates and seeing the progress of the students I spent time with last year.  It’s amazing that they are venturing into an exploration of aesthetics!

My students and I were eager to return after the holiday break to check in on the sculpture installations that we placed in the garden two weeks prior.  The weather hadn’t been too extreme, but the sculptures would have had to survive some rain and mild wind.  Luckily, two out of three were still hanging strong when I arrived at the school for our first January session.  The students and I learned that bigger “wide” shapes were stronger than small “thin” shapes and that the sculpture that was highest in the tree was the most vulnerable to the weather.

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Excited to get more sculptures in the garden, the third grade has now entered into the second phase of our residency – the visualization and planning phase.  Intended to be the main focus of our art/math curricular integration, the last few weeks have been focused on learning about estimates, scale, proportion, and variation.  Small groups of students explored these concepts while creating proposals for outdoor sculptures.  The proposals included a small-scale model, a small blueprint drawing of the sculpture in the garden, and an enlarged drawing in color.

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As for constraints, I have been lucky not to have to worry about wall space in the Year With Children exhibition.   Instead, I have been told that one of our sculptures will be on view outside the Guggenheim on a balcony that is visible from the galleries. That means that the general public who goes to visit the exhibition will see our work as well as pedestrians that are just passing by the museum.  To create a sculpture suitable for the balcony, however, I had to have a special meeting with the exhibition designer to learn dimension and construction constraints.  I was told that our proposed materials, wood and plastic, should work great but that the individual pieces of material need be very secure and that the overall sculpture needs to be heavy.

I am looking forward to the sculpture construction that officially starts on Friday. YIKES!

Muchisimo amor,


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