Story provided by Stillwater Public Schools
Stillwater High School (SHS) unveiled a new sculpture on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
Made of metal and wood, the sculpture is eight feet tall. SHS Art Teacher Joey Parker created the project. “When discussing the project with Principal Gordon, we thought it would be a great addition to the main entrance which already has a pop can mosaic representing the school which Art Club and I created a few years ago,” says Parker.
Rising from a base hewn from a 30-year-old pine tree, that was recently removed due to disease from northwest of the campus’s Performing Arts Center, the artwork incorporates design principles of movement, flow, and balance using abstractions of the letters “SHS” to lift the viewers attention upward. Welds, cabling, and materials are deliberately apparent throughout the piece, representing the techniques used and taught in its assembly and symbolic of how both art and education synthesize disparate things into a cohesive whole. Apart from the natural wood base, the free-standing piece is painted school colors, enhancing a positive, spirited atmosphere for visitors and students when entering the school.
The sculpture’s funding was made possible through a Stillwater Public Education Foundation (SPEF) grant, Stillwater Steel, and the Williams Family. The SPEF grant provided funds for a plasma cutter for the sculpture lab, which will now also be used to supplement metal fabrication instruction and provide students with skills for future job opportunities in art or other fields. Stillwater Steel, who also donates scrap metal to the art department for use in welding projects, donated the metal used in the sculpture. The Williams family, in memory of their daughter Anastasia Stacy Williams, a 1999 SHS alumni, gifted additional funds for materials.
“Art is such a great way to excite our inner creativity,” says Parker. “I hope this piece helps inspire in some small way our students’ and visitors’ imaginations, emotions, and appreciation of our everyday surroundings.”