Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Trash turned into mascot

Students inspired by junk

By Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer Contributor

Wendy Minor, standing, far right, artist-in-residence at Kings High School poses with students and their sculpture of a knight, the school's mascot. Students shown in the photo are, from left, Earl Del Vecchio, 18, Kelly Ruggiero, 17, bottom left, Emily Taylor, 16, rear right, and Maria Falter, 16. (Other students were also involved in the making of the sculpture).
(Gary Landers photo)
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        DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP — Kings High School students dug through trash in the name of art and school spirit, and came up with materials for a sculpture of the school mascot.

        Objects such as an accordion, air conditioning units and an old saw blade were used to create an 8-foot by 4-foot mounted knight. Artist in residence Wendy Minor, a “junk artist” from Circleville, headed the project using “found” objects for art.

        Nearly 40 students, sophomores through seniors, from Chris Sanders' 3D art class worked on the Knights mascot more than a month, concluding last week at the end of Ms. Minor's residency. Materials came from Ms. Minor's personal supply, the school woodshop and students' homes. Students used power tools, epoxy and spray paint to create the armored knight and his steed.

        “To be able to see something that's basically trash and make it pleasing to the eye has meaning,” said Emily Taylor, a sophomore and aspiring commercial artist. “To see that you can still do what you want and make a living out of it was a neat experience.”

        Ms. Minor also presented her work and the theory behind junk art to Kings elementary and middle schools and to other high school students. Her residency was funded by a $2,400 grant from the Ohio Arts Council and matched by the school district, which spent an additional $1,800 to extend Ms. Minor's stay from four to six weeks.

        Ms. Minor, 31, is a co-founder of Amesville, Ohio's Standing Stone artists' colony and a senior studio artist for Passion Works Studio, which works with developmentally disabled adult artists. She studied painting at the Columbus College of Art and Design but changed her focus after the death of friend and junk artist Stanton Brock in 1996.

        “I started to see beauty in all types of places I never thought I'd see beauty,” Ms. Minor said. “I think that's important for anyone. It's not so much about building the art as them (students) learning to see things.”


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