VERNON — Think of architecture combined with nature, art and kids and you get an amazing experience. Recently, Elementary and Middle School students at Fields of Green Montessori School explored these architecture, nature and art by studying the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy.
Thanks to the efforts of one parent at the school, Lauren Magee, an architect herself, the students were able to explore their creative sides and learn some important geometric fundamentals in architecture.
Fields of Green has a unique community service program that offers all families the chance to give 10 hours of their time throughout the school year. Help of all kind is offered, from maintenance work around the building to foreign language education to sharing careers.
She first introduced geometric shapes in building architecture and then went on to explore geometric shapes in nature with the children. Throughout the next week, the students, with their teacher Debra Smorto, explored online the many works of Andy Goldsworthy, who creates natural sculptures using only parts from nature. His work is created from nature and returns to nature and is designed specifically with the nature flow of change in mind. For instance, he takes pieces of icicles, and by melting them in his hands and mouth, glues pieces together to create spirals that might surround a tree or another object in nature.
When Magee returned the next week to work on projects with students, they had already collected many natural materials from outside, ready to create their own natural sculptures. With a lesson on how to trace geometric shapes outside using sticks and strings, the children set out to create their own versions of natural architectural art. The results – simple, beautiful and awe inspiring.
Next will be a trip to Storm King Art Center, where Andy Goldsworthy has two permanent displays – one being a wandering rock wall.