Walking through the Illinois Valley Central Library it’s hard not to notice an enormous ice cream cone and a humongous hotdog.
These monumental sculptures’ temporary home is in the library, but along with four other large sculpted works of art, they are looking for places to be displayed throughout the community.
Created by IVC fine arts teacher Jacqueline Nieukirk’s sculpture class, the monumental sculpture project not only combined art concepts of form, balance, mass, space, scale and color, but incorporated mathematics, science and engineering lessons as well.
“I think it’s cool for kids to learn to build things in large scale and we talked about how when sculptors or architects go to start a sculpture or a building, sometimes they will build a smaller version of it called a maquette,” Nieukirk said. “Before this project, they built bridges out of paper to learn about structure and form, and how weight affects things because (the monumental sculptures) had to be able to stand up.”
Using only newspaper, cardboard and chicken wire, students worked in pairs and small groups to create the substantial sculptures. Along with the ice cream cone and hotdog, students crafted an apple core, a Heinz Ketchup bottle, a Canon Camera and an Oreo cookie.
“They exceeded my expectations,” Nieukirk said. “They turned out really, really well. I’ve had nothing but compliments on how cool they are and how well built they are, and how real they look with limited materials.”
The limited materials, specifically working with the chicken wire, was the most laborious part of the project Hailey Bergen and Andy Timm said, as they designed their hotdog.
“The chicken wire was the most difficult thing because it kept poking us or getting stuck on stuff,” Bergen said. “We thought this project would be difficult to do. It took us awhile to get an idea on what we wanted to do, but once we got the idea it was easy from there.”
Connor Kliethermes and Cooper Howald agreed the project sounded difficult, but once the work began everything came together.
“Our first thoughts were, ‘How are we actually going to do this and how big is it going to be?’” Kliethermes said. “We learned a lot of stuff about structure and building, and working together as a team. It was pretty fun, and it would definitely be something I would do again.”
The sculptures took between three and four weeks to complete and Nieukirk and her students would love to see them shared throughout Chillicothe.
“Right now, we just want to get them out throughout IVC for other students to see them, but ultimately, we are hoping some people in the community would like to display them in their businesses,” Nieukirk said. “I would like to get the kids collaborating with the community and see how we can partner with the community so that we can show these sculptures.
“I’m very proud of all the work they’ve done on these. They’ve taken everything I’ve tried to teach them and come up with a really good final sculpture product.”
If you are interested in displaying these monumental sculptures at your business or organization, contact Jacqueline Nieukirk at firstname.lastname@example.org.