Kids design sculpture garden for local park

In a city studded with historic monuments, public art is still a hard sell. But The Art Factory funded an exploration with kids from Monte Sano Elementary to create a new sculpture garden.

 Atlanta artist Jeff Mather, a teaching artist for the Georgia Council for the Arts, worked with the fourth and fifth graders to conceptualize, construct and install the pieces they designed at Pendleton King Park.
“He spent two weeks with the kids working on the elements of design, drawing perspectives, all of those elements,” said Cindy O’Brien, executive director for The Art Factory. “We took the students on a field trip to Pendleton King Park to show them the site for the garden and took pictures and then they went back to class and drew pictures of what they’d like to see there.”
The children drew upon the history of the 64-acre park for inspiration. It was created in 1932 and set aside as a bird refuge.
“Jeff asked them to identify the birds that were mostly found in the park,” O’Brien said. “They created eight different sculptures in the shape of an ellipse. It’s very touching and it’s very connected to what the park is, which is a bird sanctuary.”
The ellipse echoes the shape of a bird’s egg, and each sculpture represents a different part of the birds that can be seen in the park: the beak of the woodpecker, the wing of the crow, the feather of the starling, the heart of the sparrow, the eye of the hawk, the egg of the robin, the nest of the blackbird and the claw of the owl. Each sculpture has a seat that looks into the center of the site.
“It really affected the whole school,” O’Brien said. “They learned the history of the park, and next Friday atthe ribbon-cutting ceremony the whole school will get to come and see what the kids have done.”Children’s Sculpture Garden ribbon cutting
Pendleton King Park
Friday, April 20
10 a.m.

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