Thursday, April 30, 2009

Public Art at School

The city of Lafayette, with the support of City Council, local businesses, and community members, has made a concerted effort to bring art into our daily lives. We have several different committees and commissions that focus on art and public art. There are art nights on Public Road. There are public art installations all around town. While the art movement in Lafayette is relatively new, I think the whole town of Lafayette is getting into the spirit of public art. Last week as we were walking up to the elementary school, we saw this lovely sculpture garden in front of the building.

I talked with one of the wonderful art teachers later in the week. She explained that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classes had participated in creating this permanent sculpture garden in front of the school. The pieces were installed before the school's "Learning Fair," but are a permanent installation to enhance the school. Each piece is mounted to a steel pipe which is cemented into the ground. I asked how long the pieces would be there, and she said she has similar sculpture in her garden that are ten or fifteen years old. I hope these last at least that long. The project was made possible with the help of a grant from the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission.

I think that using children's art as permanent public art is wonderful, especially at an elementary school. It is a lovely way to beautify our spaces, which students, teachers, parents and community memebers can enjoy. But it also serves as an historic marker, of sorts. Just think about the students who will pass by or return to their old school and can say, "I made that," in five, ten or fifteen years. What a gift that teacher has given those students, the school and our community.

Thank you.