For Immediate Release
October 24, 2012
Community Relations Specialist
Charlottesville City Schools
CHS Sculpture Unveiled
A collaboration between local artist Ninni Baeckstrom and Tina Vasquez's English as a Second Language class has brought about a new art installation at Charlottesville Highs School. In a series of meetings with Baeckstrom, a McGuffey Associate Artist, the ESL students talked about the meaning of contemporary immigration and designed a sculpture that represented their experiences. The resulting design was a globe, held up in the air by three arms, and surrounded by mosaic flags.
Baeckstrom built the massive armature of the sculpture at her studio in the fall of 2011, while the mosaic flags representing the students’ nationalities were completed in stages from fall through spring. During the spring of 2012, volunteers and students worked together in the courtyard to complete the flags and cover a globe in blue, green, and white mosaics. CHS students and University of Virginia service organization APO worked on installing the circle of flags.
Although designed by recent immigrants, the sculpture celebrates "35,000 years of immigration," and all students were encouraged to participate during their lunch hour. In addition to VSA Arts of Charlottesville/Albemarle, Monumental Collaborations was supported by Art in Place and private donors. The project was administered by The Enrichment Alliance of Virginia, a local educational nonprofit dedicated to providing enrichment opportunities to critically underserved communities.
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