When Visual Arts department chair and instructor Marcia Moore set out to plan an elementary school art project for the arrival of the “Year of the Horse” this past Lunar New Year, she decided to go big. Students from Kindergarten to fifth grade would collaborate on the creation of a herd of large-scale horse sculptures to be constructed from wooden saw horses, chicken wire and salvaged materials. Marcia began by asking the students to study pictures of different types of horses – asking them to pay special attention to things like the contours of the animals’ bodies, and patterns in the hair.
Then, students broke up into groups of anywhere from 5-8 to get started collaborating on their projects. To help oversee students with the cutting, hammering and nailing necessary to construct the armature of the sculptures, Marcia enlisted the help of New Roads alum and current student at the Chicago Art Institute Sasha De Koninck. Once they finished building the ‘bodies’ of their horses, the children needed to design and create their ‘skin’ – limited only by their imaginations and, as always, a few rules per Marcia : materials used must be found or salvaged, the horse skins must be ‘nontraditional’ and students must use 100 of the same thing, (yarn pieces, twigs, aluminum cans, plastic flowers, etc.) Once completed, the herd became a roaming exhibit, adorning several local Chinese New Year celebrations.