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Wednesday March 1, 2017 at 3:11pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: High School, District


As part of a unit on installation and site-specific art, students in Cayla Tangney’s sculpture class explored the spatially connected works of such contemporary 3-D artists as Matteo Pugliese, Peter Demetz, Jason DeCaires Taylor, and Sam Jinks.


As a class, they discussed the concept and meaning of individual pieces, and why it was necessary for them to exist in a specific space. Each student selected a favorite 3-D artist to research and present on, covering their education and background, as well as artwork samples and relationship to their environment.


The next step involved sketching original figure sculptures and planning for their posture and placement in a specific school site. For the creation phase, Ms. Tangney introduced the students to a sculpting process requiring only packing tape, scissors—and their individual bodies as the framework.


"Human figure sculptures are usually built upon an armature made of wire or another material. I’ve done these before, and I’m fairly comfortable with it, so the prospect of using my own body as an armature was an interesting concept," said Sean Janes, a junior.


Limb by limb, the students wrapped their bodies in tape, sticky-side-out, followed by two additional layers, sticky-side-in. Using scissors, and a little help from their peers, they cut off the tape, detached the layers from their bodies, and re-taped the figure back together. 

Easier said than done. "This project was challenging because I had to be patient even when things weren't going the right way," said Alayna Savaglio, a junior. 

When all students completed their figure sculptures, they took them on a field trip around the school and placed them in the spaces they planned for in their sketchbooks. "I chose to put my sculpture in a full classroom, sitting and texting, because I thought that was a funny position. The artwork looks like it was meant to be there forever," said Juliana Fiero, a sophomore. 

Students gained different insights from the project. "I learned that a 3-D figure can have emotions based on its body structure," said Brianna DeMara, a junior.  For Vanessa Spine, a sophomore, creating a sculpture from tape challenged her to think creatively for solutions to problems. “I also learned that when artists pay attention to the message they want to portray, they use their surroundings to improve the overall effect," Vanessa added. 


"Overall, I thought the project was a success, although, if I could repeat it, I would try a more dynamic pose,” said Sean James, a junior.

Judging from the student photos of their sculptures and installation, dynamics were hardly overlooked.