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A Peaceful Garden

February – May 2011

Sculpture and design in nature were the areas that this STAR Residency explored.

A Peaceful Garden Residency was charged with a mission to “create a space to restore the spirit through friendship, art, and nature.” Desired features for the space included a hillside facing the WHIKS Student Union, with benched sitting areas for conversation and contemplation, using indigenous plants (xeriscaping), incorporating a respectful position for the campus’s Peace Pole, and creating an original sculpture from a large stone well cover that was excavated from the Student Union construction site.

Eagle Hill School was honored to host Tom Kellner as its STAR artist in residence. His refreshingly simple and visually appealing approach to art is uniquely suitable for the task he has undertaken. An established sculptor with extensive stone carving experience, he is guiding the students through a variety of preliminary design and construction exercises in preparation for the actual on-site gardening and sculpting work.

Mid-project update:

“[Students] Acadio, Alex and I spent the first few weeks in the studio planning to carve the well capstone. First, pencil, then charcoal drawings illustrated design ideas, then plaster was shaped similar to the capstone and carved with chisels. On March 29, the capstone was turned over for complete examination. Further discussion deemed the stone to be an historical artifact and best not carved or radically altered. The capstone will be permanently placed upright to be appreciated for its innate beauty. Our attention then switched to planning the Peace Garden. Since March 31st, Acadio, Alex and I have been discussing and doing pencil drawings to generate various plans: layouts, pathways, possible stone walls, and seating arrangements. On April 8, Alex marked the grass and soil with limestone to delineate a stone wall feature, Capstone placement, bench and birdbath placement and areas suitable for brick pavers.

Both students have been engaged in the whole process. As the carving design discussions evolved, the boys adjusted their expectations to the needs of the larger school community. During the landscape planning, Acadio has been insightful and decisive with a clear understanding of various priorities. They both have been continuously enthusiastic and helpful with the projects.”

The project culminated in the completion of a beautiful Peace Garden to be dedicated at the opening of school in September 2011.

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