What Fourth Graders See
With clipboards, pencils and an illustrated map in hand, Cloverdale Jefferson School fourth graders set out on a tour of the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail.
Over the course of two weeks in April, I met Jonni Conway, Stephanie Fernandez, Emilie Barrow and Anna DeLaney’s fourth grade classes sharply at 9:10am in front of M.C. Carolyn’s Big Red Candy Apple, at the entrance to the library.
After a brief introduction of the trail, we followed the map through town with a stop at each sculpture, ending up in front of Pierre Riche’s Salvaged Horse, where they examined it and spotted how many old tools were used in its creation.
On the reverse side of the map, specific questions unique to each piece were asked, which opened the conversation up to more questions by the students. I was impressed by the depth of their answers and questions. They studied each piece carefully and answered thoughtfully.
At Stan Huncilman’s piece, Hekate, the question was: This sculpture was created for everyone to see something different. What do you see? The hands shot up, and their answers were interesting and varied, such as: binoculars, a giant camera, a ship, an engine, a propeller, a man with glasses.
At Sculpture Jam’s Derrick, in front of Papa’s Pizza, it didn’t take long for the students to figure out how to make him speak and make noises. Derrick was the crowd pleaser due to the fact he could talk, was made out of found objects and focused on sustainable energy.
When asked why they thought David Mudgett’s piece, The Disc, was voted best of show by the judges, some shouted “because it is so cool.” Hard to argue with that answer.
It was wonderful to witness their enthusiasm for the Sculpture Trail and their acknowledgment of how fortunate Cloverdale is for having public art in our community.
One student asked, “Why doesn’t every town have sculpture on their sidewalks?”
Janet Howell is the trail coordinator for the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail.