WOU Creative Arts: Sculpture Design Sequence

This Spring I decided that it would be good for my students to have a challenge that would be meaningful, relevant to the things that are going on in our society, and specifically the environment, so I gave them an assignment to create some of what we call street puppets that can go out and parade and march in demonstrations if that’s where you want to use them, but somehow create a visually meaningful image that communicates concerns for the environment. That was their assignment, and they decided what they wanted to do – what they wanted to come up with – and today we saw the outcome of that. Today was a practice for a real march that will take place in Portland in two days, so they’ll adjust their sculptures and they’ll make them stronger, wherever they need to be engineered. They see the problems today, and they’ll make those alterations. Art is an expression of self, and this particular project, since it’s a group project, is an expression of how we as society can be responsive with art. This is our environmental activism sculpture for our sculpting studies class. It’s a foam head of paper maché and chicken wire. What we’ve done is a gagged environmental scientist. Our agencies, APA, and the National Park service can’t talk about planet science anymore on their social media sites. So this is our protest piece for that. Even though the slogan is ‘make America great again,’ silencing science does not make America great. For this project, we have a team of three working on it. All of our spare time between classes, we’ve been here working on this, getting it to be effective. I’m currently standing next to a part of a three-piece puppet for the Climate March coming up in Portland. It’s a hazmat suit; he’s wearing a gas mask, and this is the spray can that is going to be spraying our fabricated Earth. Most of my group were really thrilled to bring awareness to something that’s commonly overlooked. Ours is not necessarily pointed towards the bee issue with the pesticides killing our honey bees, but it was in that general area. You may have also noticed the fish I’m standing next to. This was actually fabricated by three of our professors here at WOU, and this shows how much we are really working through the community. We actually took this to the science march for Earth Day up in Portland last weekend. Just another example of us bringing some life into a normal community event. Art is an expression of self. It’s an expression of how we as a society can be responsive with art. What I really like about the art program here at WOU is that I’m already getting to express my artistic craft in this march and the march last weekend. I’m proud of these guys and what they accomplished today, and I’m proud of the response that they got from people just in the street and the university sidewalks. People that saw the work responded. That’s what art should always do, to make people think. music music

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