A new sculpture has been put in place at the Mansfield Art Center. This project, made possible by funding from the Richland County Foundation, came together literally piece by piece on Saturday, September 3rd. Volunteers gathered together by the sculpture pad and with plenty of summer sunshine, the installation began as scheduled, around 10am.
The sculpture was designed by children and adults who attended workshops at the Mansfield Art Center last May. The workshops were led by Columbus architect Michael Liscano and CAD designers Kin Yu and Ken Valimaki. Together they helped the students create a design for the new sculpture. The students were encouraged to come up with ideas, and using a theme of Mansfield history, they built a small cardboard model of their sculpture design. Afterwards, Mr. Yu and Mr. Valimaki used the model created by the students to fabricate a 15-foot sculpture out of aluminum.
The present sculpture arrived in pieces and under the directions of Liscano, Yu, and Valimaki, each life size aluminum shape was unloaded from the truck and placed flat on the ground. Everyone worked together during the assembly, some helping to hold the shapes of the sculpture, while others drilled holes for bolts. Lending a hand in the installation were MAC staff, George Whitten, Mary Cooper and Jerry Francl, along with several other volunteers. Sartaj Aujla from WMFD News was also on site. Watch the video and hear his report on the WMFD.com website.
I cannot write this post without mentioning two young students who were also there to help, and they even brought their parents! Zoe and Kit, who are 4th & 1st grade students, attended the workshops and have been involved with this project since its beginning. Since they helped to design the sculpture, they were very enthusiastic to be a part of the installation. I had the opportunity to chat with both of them during a short break. I noticed they had been keeping charge of the small model of the sculpture, so I asked them how they came up with ideas for the shapes.
Zoe said the ideas were a combined effort of all in the workshop, but that it was Kit who thought of the ballerina silhouettes. She explained the horse figurines were representative of the carousel in downtown Mansfield. Other ideas came from the movie The Shawshank Redemption, which was filmed at the historic Mansfield Reformatory. Zoe and Kit both thought it was a great experience to see the sculpture being assembled. They were very honored to help bolt some of the pieces in place (with the help of grown-ups, of course)!
Additionally, Mr. Kin Yu commented on how the sculpture has been a continuous work in progress, and that the credit belongs to everyone. He noted it’s the student’s art, and in 10 to 15 years they will be able to look back on this and say, “Hey, I did this!”
The installation of the sculpture was completed by 1:30 in the afternoon, sooner than expected, and would not have been possible were it not for the help of all the volunteers. To celebrate, the Mansfield Art Center treated everyone to pizza and refreshments, where all relaxed while exchanging stories and visiting with the architects. By the way, they are presently working on a new mailbox design for the Mansfield Art Center, based on the sculpture. Stay tuned and look for upcoming posts to find out more! Learn more about Michael Liscano, Kin Yu, and Ken Valimaki on their website, atelier5.net.
Have you been by the Art Center to see the new sculpture? Tell us what you think!