By Libby Cluett
A trip along S.E. Martin Luther King Street offers drivers a new treat for the eyes, thanks to 40 fifth graders, two art teachers and a supportive Travis Elementary administration.
Last week teachers Debra Strandberg and Skipper Bennett installed the students’ artwork, now grazing on the Travis lawn as a community art piece.
Students constructed their horses from limbs and twigs, inspired by the work of artist Deborah Butterfield, known for her close to life size depictions of horses made from found objects.
The teachers and students visited Fort Worth, where they toured horses in art at the Amon Carter Museum and saw “Hina,” an outdoor bronze horse by Butterfield at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Their day culminated with a visit to Bryant Art Foundry in Azle. There, they molten bronze cast into forms.
Though made of bronze, sticks and limbs were Butterfield’s original raw materials for “Hina.”
From Butterfield’s work, fifth grader Hannah Bessent said she learned “art is not just painting. It’s sculpture and others. I first thought it was really crazy [to make art from sticks] when I started. [Then] it was real and came together perfect.”
Bessent said she learned artistic features of a horse as well as three-dimensional construction. “I learned how the horse was shaped and how you had to get the legs thicker at the top and thinner at the bottom,” she said.
According to Strandberg, the raw materials were recycled from the city brush pile and other places. Students used different sizes and species of twigs. She said it was fun to watch them discover the material and cited one example when a student started making a forelock of horse hair by pulling apart cedar bark.
Callie Hawkins learned, “How you can make something really beautiful out of something you see every day.”
Bennett said he was impressed how students learned about “letting material guide the way it goes. It jelled at about the three-quarter point.”
Yohaneli Jimenez was able to sit on his sculpture, titled “Champ.” He said he learned “construction and using my imagination.” The teachers said his was one of only a few that they never touched for assistance. “That’s pretty impressive,” said Bennett.
Both teachers said they emphasized to students the importance of having their work become a part of the community. “Art is not just for inside. It is for the community. You can’t be afraid of putting something out,” said Strandberg.
“We hope this will be the beginning of future public art installations by Travis art students,” the teachers stated in a note sent to Travis parents.
Strandberg said during the week she has seen people taking cell phone pictures as they wait to pick up Travis students. She added that a neighbor walked over to see the new community installation shortly after the works first grazed on the Travis lawn.
The art teachers said they are grateful for the support from Principal Natalie Griffin and administration. They were able to complete the project without disrupting their other art classes since they were allowed to use a studio space at school.
Travis students learn art doesn't have to be with paint or pencil, or kept indoors
By Libby Cluett
MWHS students participate in ‘Hour of Code’ computer education
Mineral Wells High School students have been participating this week in learning computer code as part of Hour of Code.
MWISD gets mixed TAPR results
The Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) was presented to the Mineral Wells ISD School Board in a regular meeting at the District Services Complex, Tuesday night, with mixed results.
- Travis Elementary School releases A and B honor rolls for second six weeks
Lamar Elementary students collect box tops for BTE education program
Lamar Elementary is collecting Box Tops for Education! Since 1996, the BTE program has helped schools across America earn cash for the things they need.
The students and faculty at Mineral Wells High School just concluded a canned food drive sponsored by the Student Council.
MWISD scores near perfect FIRST
Sporting Ram-pride red T-shirts at Tuesday’s Mineral Wells ISD school board meeting, the Travis News Team led the pledges to the American and Texas flags, followed by an apparently precocious presentation on their roles as TNT members.
Center of Life combating poverty through education
According to city-data.com, as of 2011, 18.7 percent of Mineral Wells residents were living in poverty.
Graford ISD hosting town hall on bond tonight
Graford ISD will conduct a community meeting tonight concerning the Nov. 5 bond election for the district.
Fates of two ISD bonds and nine state constitutional amendments in voters’ hands
Early voting for the Nov. 5 election is underway and the fate of two local school bonds and nine constitutional amendments is in the hands of voters.
MWISD encourages public to visit campuses Saturday morning
In preparation for the Nov. 5 bond election, MWISD will host tours this Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, of each campus.
- More Education Headlines
- MWHS students participate in ‘Hour of Code’ computer education