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I just wanted to share something that happened today. As part of an
inservice, some art teachers from the district toured the amazing Storm
King sculpture garden in Newburgh, New York. While we were enjoying the
David Smith sculptures, the docent mentioned there was going to be an Andy
Goldsworthy stone sculpture soon, and she pointed absently out towards the
woods to the south.
Later, two other teachers from my district and I strolled out to see the
Serra sculptures, and we noticed some action out in the woods. We went out
there to investigate. There was a huge 6 foot high winding stone wall
taking shape! It meandered around trees, growing from a small pond and
crossing a road, and was heading towards a derelict ancient stone wall.
About 100 yards of serpentine wall had been build, and another 50 yards was
to come. There were half a dozen hefty guys laying stone. Some were
chipping pieces to fit, some were digging trenches. I asked if was Andy
Goldsworthy was around. The stout guy built like a gorilla said, "He's the
guy over there with the blue shirt, not working." There he was, clearing
leaves and debris from the ground with his fingers and staking string in a
curved line in the direction the wall was to go.
I went up to him and introduced myself, asking about the wall. He was very
pleasant and happy to talk, but he kept working, driving stakes with the
string. He told me he was commissioned to build a wall there, and he was
using stones found on the property. He said that his wall was going to
essentially follow the path of an old derelict farmer's wall that had been
there for hundreds of years. Trees had grown up around the ancient wall, as
they do at the sides of pastures and fields, because the wall prevents
grazing and harvesting so the trees grow right near it. But he said this
time, instead of the trees being there because of the wall, his wall was
going to be there for the trees, which is why he is making it curve around
I told him I enjoyed seeing his work in the books, and the ice sculptures
really intrigued me. I asked how he worked with the ice, and if his hands
didn't get unbearably cold. His reply was that "making art keeps me warm,
and as proof, whenever the ice melts and the sculpture falls, a rush of
cold runs up my spine!" At that point his hammer missed the stake and
slammed into the ground. He laughed and I excused myself, saying I was
sorry to disturb his work but that it was a real treat to have met him.
Cool, huh? I'm going back in the spring to see it finished.
Mark Alexander, 1-8 Art
Lee H. Kellogg School
47 Main Street
Falls Village, Connecticut 06031
"The object of education is to
prepare the young to
throughout their lives."