The work of five AAPS students may be coming soon to a trail near you.
All are winners in the Allen Creek Green the Way: Student Sculpture Competition.
A2STEAM art and design teacher Rachael Van Dyke says she is “thrilled to see youth encouraged to think critically as designers and environmentalists.”
The Allen Creek Trail and the Green the Way project is a proposed pedestrian and bike friendly path that follows the historic alignment of Allen Creek and a portion of the existing North-South railroad corridor through downtown Ann Arbor.
A team of University of Michigan Urban Planning graduate students, in collaboration with Washtenaw County art teachers, sought proposals from 6th to 12th grade Washtenaw County students for a unique work of art that could be replicated along the trail system.
Students were asked to propose a unique work of art that can be replicated and placed at various points along the trail to mark it path as a temporary public art installation that will “increase the project’s visibility, increase residents’ awareness and enthusiasm, and enliven this corridor with creativity.”
A2STEAM sixth graders Peter Nemecek and Timmy Cheek collaborated on their final design concept, Recycle Man, giving them the first place cash prize of $1500 to share.
Their design—a bicycle sculpture created from recycled car and bicycle parts—“reflects the bicycle culture that is a part of Ann Arbor,” says Peter.
A2STEAM also cashed in on second place, with winning design team Hunter Schrupp and Mitchell Limp, both sixth graders. Their design reflected the trading route of the railroad that continues to run through Ann Arbor to this day.
Third place winner was Frances MacKercher, a junior at Community High School taught by Steven Coron. Her proposal featured life-scale figures placed along the pathway.
Designs were selected based on the following criteria; relationship of sculpture concept to the city of Ann Arbor, consideration for environmentally friendly art, and connection to the history of Ann Arbor or its people.
Winning designs were submitted by area teachers and a reception held at the Kerrytown Concert Hall.
The students are eager to see if the final designs come to life along Allen Creek Trail this summer.
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