Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sculpture Walk Peoria

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Our MWF classes will be  learning about sculptures later in the school year.  We introduce the concept of two dimensional and three dimensional and each student will create their own sculpture.  Over the summer, my husband and I visited the Sculpture Walk along Washington Street.  I hope you and your child can find a time to visit this unique art experience.  Here are some ideas to take with you---

*Information and maps are available along the walk.  Detailed information is available at

*Take a bottle of water. 

*Don't feel you have to experience the entire walk in one day.  It's not long for adults but for little ones it might be too long of a walk.

*Remember these pieces are works of art and not playground equipment.  Look and touch but do not allow your child to climb on the sculptures.

*Talk with your child about the sculpture. Here is a list of questions you can discuss.  Don't feel you need to reveal the name of the sculpture immediately.  Your child might see something completely different than artist's view.  Be open to your child's experience.

General questions---
***What is the sculpture made of?  (as you look at the sculptures you can discuss why outdoor sculptures are made of steel and rock)
***Look for and identify shapes and colors.
***Do you see straight lines?  Curvy lines?
***What do you see?  What would you call the sculpture?

For each sculpture, ask the general questions and these questions about individual pieces---

PORTAL---introduce the word 'portal' as a new vocabulary word!  What is a portal?

01 LIVING SCULPTURE---This sculpture is 'alive'.  Why?  What makes something a living thing? (simply---it eats, breathes and grows)

02 ETERNAL FLAME---As you talk about the material, explain to your child what granite is.  Do you have granite in your home? Where would you have granite in your home?   More vocabulary!!!  Define 'eternal'. Discuss where you might see flames (candles, fireplaces, camp fires, etc.)

03 SPANISH DANCER---After you tell your child the name of the sculpture, ask what do you do when you dance?  Dance around the sculpture!  Do you think the flamenco is a fast or a slow dance?  Check out YouTube for flamenco dancers.  Show your child where Spain is located on a world map. Is Spain close or faraway?  How would you travel to Spain?  What language do they speak in Spain?  Do you know any Spanish?

04 HARD RIGHT TURN: SPARROW---This sculpture will allow you to talk about the attributes of birds.

05 PRAIRIE WALKER---Why did the artist call this sculpture 'Prairie Walker'?  Do you think the 'Prairie Walker' would take big steps or little steps?  If you saw the 'Prairie Walker' coming towards you would you like to meet the 'Prairie Walker' or would you run away?

06 FRAGMENTARY COMPOSITION--Okay, I personally think this looks like a giant cinnamon stick and I love it.  After general questions and you tell your child the name of the sculpture, define the words 'fragment' or 'fragmentary' and 'composition'.

07 POISE---General questions and introduce the vocabulary word 'poise'.

08 SOLSTICE, GALACTIC SPIRAL---More vocabulary!  What things are in the sky? At home, cut spirals out of paper.

09 PHENOMENON---Introduce the word 'sphere'.  How is a sphere different than a circle?

10 SWANS ON THE MARSH---What is a swan?  Do we have swans in Illinois?  What is a marsh?  Do we have marshes in Illinois?  This sculpture is a wonderful opportunity to talk about abstract art.

11 DAUGHTER OF THE MOON---Is a daughter a boy or a girl?  Why do you think the artist called this sculpture 'Daughter of the Moon'?

12 CONCENTRICITY--- Try and count all the circles.

13 FOXGLOVE & FISTS---This sculpture is a great piece to look for colors.  Have your child make a fist.  How do you feel when you make a fist?

14 MOMENT---Another opportunity to talk about spheres.

15 DON"T FORGET US---Vibrant red color and lots of shapes.

MORE THAN JUST A COMEDIAN---The Richard Pryor sculpture will give you an opportunity to show your child that sculptures can honor people and places.  Sculptures can be easily recognizable as something known like a person or abstract. Look at what is in his hand...what do you think Richard Pryor did?  Explain a comedian is a person who makes someone laugh.   Who makes you laugh?

I hope this makes the Sculpture Walk an enjoyable expereince for you and your child.  Want more?  Visit the Sculpture Garden at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

There are many sculptures downtown Peoria and along the riverfront.  Locally, you can also check out ICC. Have you and your child looked at the Abraham Lincoln sculpture on the square?   Find some time and explore the outdoor sculpture in central Illinois!

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